I have a voice—
I can hear it
in between heartbeats
and the clicking of my keyboard,
while the seconds bleed
from my ticking timepiece.
My soul does not know silence.

There are words,
I can see them—
cracked ceramic, waiting to be fixed,
waiting to be used
while the world passes by.
No one sees,
but perhaps they will. I willed
unfinished rhymes to solve themselves,
but the broken words know that I have found them,
and the voice grows louder.
My staccato heartbeat will not drown it out.

Louder and louder it grows;
no longer a distant, echoed sound
from a place of clouded glass where nothing is in focus.
Voices already exist,
belonging to people who write with golden sentences
and words that glitter,
that smile as the reader smiles back.
Voices already exist—
and I have to wonder if the world even wants
the faltering fragments of a whispering breath.
In other words,

If I trail my fingers along shards of letters
and gather them gradually, gently,
I may cut myself on their sharp, cracked edges—
but if I leave them to someone else,
in the hope that I am not the only one to notice
the way the shattered glass glints in the light,
they may be swept up or stepped over,
every forgotten line
seeping down the drainage.
And something aches
the longer I wait to decide.

But if I do touch the raw, rough words,
and see the brokenness they hold,
I might realize that I am looking back at myself,
and as the evening rain
washes the dirt away, I might see
that the words were tipped with gold all along.
I will use them.
They belong to me now.

The poems read, the stories told,
the silver slivers spun
from letters that were once chipped china
holding shreds of cold tea leaves.
I will never stop piecing my words together,
polishing them,
painting them the color of the rising light of dawn—
after all, this is what a writer does.