There is solace in loud silence.
The concrete under you,
acting as much needed support,
as unconditional guidance.
The sky above you,
a reminder of hope,
an assurance of future freedom.
It tells you not to worry;
one day you’ll live the life you dream of.
The couple quarreling next to you,
they’re only a few feet away,
yet they’re still so far removed.
They gesture wildly,
raising their voices,
arguing about trivial matters.
It will be irrelevant in a few hours,
long forgotten as they lay in between the sheets together.
The leaves swirl around you,
joined by plastic bags and discarded napkins.
The Santa Ana winds heave them up,
flip them over,
and drag them across the pavement,
before violently dropping them back onto the harsh ground.
They’re like you, those leaves.
They move because they must,
forced into involuntary dances,
time and time again.
They can’t resist,
but you can.
You should feel lonely right now
as you sit in the silence,
a singular pronoun.
No company but your uneaten Chipotle,
while the rest of them are laughing
in the parking lot not too far from you.
But you’re nowhere close to lonely;
in fact, you’re at ease.
Because there is too much to do.
There are too many thoughts
floating around in your head
to abandon solitude for frivolity.
You must let those precious thoughts flow onto paper
or risk losing them for good.
Why would you approach the privileged and the ignorant
as they laugh at others’ oppression
as they sit in the car paid for with someone else’s bones?
Why would you envelope yourself in false pretenses and facades,
speak for their entertainment (and to your chagrin)
when you can be here
comfortable in your poetic oasis?
There is solace in loud silence,
By CHRISTINE SMET