I have blamed myself
by Marit Rogne


He is here. Now. At the cafe. I quiet
my chewing to not attract attention. He is
still there. Still creaking the table
as he rocks his chair back, back,
forth, forth. Familiar, that struggle,
like a halting breath forced through
tears.

then,
as I search for the exit
(or a place to hide)
I look back
to see a man
I no longer recognize.

If sins are weighed
with silence
my guilt is certain
as time

for all the years
I've tried to leave him
behind, it is I
who has harbored him,
this nightmare,
as I stand shaking
while he's not even here.






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