Silence Does Not Mean Things Are Ending
BY SAM SLUPSKI.
We pluck rosemary leaves in silence
while we wait for the broth to boil.
We fill the bowls for our guests and stare
at each other from across the room.
When everyone leaves, you start to cry
and I hold you. When I leave, I cry later
and tell you about it the next day and we laugh,
talk about how good the soup was,
how it seemed like everyone had such a good time
and how we didn’t have to say anything to each other
to know that we wished everyone would’ve stayed home.
We never have to explain it to each other.
We never have to ask if our love will survive
the silence despite all the evidence we have
that it won’t. We have known that silence
means there is nothing more to say,
but we never have to speak or finish
each other’s sentences to know
that our love will see the next day.
We let our love linger in the air.
We let the bubbling bouillon do the talking.
We listen to the spices erupt in the air
and we both stand there, listening.
Sam Slupski (she/they) is a writer and performer living in Austin, Texas. They were a finalist for the 2019 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest, a semi-finalist at Texas Grand Slam 2018, headlined the Melbourne, Australia Spoken Word Poetry Festival in 2018, and has toured the US and Canada. Sam was selected to attend Winter Tangerine‘s NYC Workshop, is a The Heart of It Retreat fellow, and was an artist-in-residence at CENTER in 2019. Their work has been published in Pass/Fail, Thimble Lit Magazine, What Are Birds Journal, and more. Their writing centers around how a body survives trauma and aims to illuminate stories about mental health. Sam is currently a Creative Director for Interfaces, a community initiative that nurtures and amplifies marginalized artists and wants to know what your favorite soup is. To find out more about Sam, follow their Instagram at @samfromkc.