How are you?

I’m fine.

“How are you?”

I ask,

and they go on and on and on.

I didn’t really want to hear the response–

just wanted it to be asked back to me.

So I listen, trying to feign attention,

waiting for my turn

to be asked and to respond

because I have something to say,

but I can’t say it yet.

And maybe I

am a terrible person

for using this conversation

solely as a way to talk about me.

And here I go again,

thinking about myself

rather than listening to their answer.

Their voice is droning–

no, mind, stop that.

They are just talking,

just like I asked them to.

And I am waiting for my turn.

The answer lasts and lasts

until they glance at their phone,

my, they lost track of the time.

They thank me for the conversation,

apologize for the abrupt ending,

say that they are going to be late.

They wish me farewell,

then they walk away.

That night in the mirror

I ask,

“How are you?”

But I can’t stand the asker

and I can’t stand the answer,

so I just walk away.

Photo by Arley Bateca from Pexels

You Are

YOU are

you are an answer

you are a solid foundation
you are the turbulent sea, threatening to pull me under
you are a delicate butterfly wing
you are the ax used to chop down the sturdiest oak
you are a humble disciple
you are the queen of the land
you are a tear streaming down my cheek
you are the laugh bubbling from a baby’s lips
you are a strong, rhythmic pulse of a heartbeat
you are the silent stillness of a pine forest
you are an authority
you are the rule breaker
you are an empty, abandoned house
you are the chalice overflowing with wine

you are the question

you are

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger