It's the language of our uncoupling
shrouded in legal preciseness
with words like plaintiff, defendant,
custodial, visitational, alimonial
and E.S.P –Early Settlement Panel,
which decides how fairly things should be split.
And I wish for another kind of ESP
the kind of sensory perception that would make clear
half-sentences and one-line conversations
and the kind that would fill days of gaps
messages like 'talk to you later,'
with no prior line about what happened earlier,
and 'we need to take a road trip,'
with a smiley face at the end.
And the denial over and over again
of proof of something done
something gone wrong.
Then the day I read this line:
'Thank you for caring and for being u.'
A line, written in praise
by a grateful relative.
In insistent praise,
she thanked him
for his good wishes to her.
Two lines of conversation, complete, undeleted,
as if uncovered
as if the clearest language of all.
Charmaine Valere is a Guyanese-American writer whose non-fiction writing has been published in The Caribbean Review of Books, Caribbean Beat Magazine, and Sx Salon Journal. She has taught writing and literature courses at several colleges in New Jersey, and she maintains a blog, Signifyinguyana, where she writes on Caribbean literature, with a special focus on the works of Caribbean women writers.