If I asked you
a question, broken
with hesitant breath

would you listen
to the gaps as
much as the gist

and answer with equal
pause, perhaps
a means

of communion, relation
a space
untrained and tired

yet unlike the vowels
that beg you begin,
shut your teeth

with breath, with quiet
and close the space
between us

with space.

By Joshua Keiter

reader, writer, actor, singer, teacher