Can You Hear Me?

Can you hear me?
Can you hear
The cracking,
The wavering,
The fear?
Can you decipher
The words
That rise from my lips,
Their meaning?
Are we speaking
The same language,
Or have I suddenly begun
Chanting in tongues
That only I
Can understand?
Can you hear the running
Of tears down my cheeks,
Or the stinging
As they burn them?
Can you hear
The pain you’re causing
The scraping
The bruising?
Is my drunken slur
Too thick
For you to comprehend?
Is it the wind
That’s drowning me out
Or am I speaking to you
From underwater?
Can you hear
The fire in my throat
As I struggle
To keep speaking
To keep trying
To make you hear me?
Can you hear
The simmering
Of water vapor
When at last
I give up?

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