poetry by j matthew waters

the queen’s gambit

you know this much about me
this space between my thumb & forefinger
not quite touching

I tell you to trace your finger
down the scar along my right carotid
but you want nothing to do with it
telling me it scares you

there is no middle ground to be had
as if you speak in one language
and me in my very own

with a pencil I scratch out some words
ones I’m sure you’ll understand

I lift the paper up to my chin
but you turn away your pretty
but foreign face
telling me without talking
I am right about not knowing

september two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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