To strip away this incessant chatter,
yes, but what lies underneath it?
Death, of course, or our fear of death.
Which is why we talk so much,
bury our heads in books, turn forests
into pages and pages into mirrors
in which we see ourselves appear
and disappear. When I look up
from the story I've been reading
about the Jews in Nazi Germany
and the silence that closed their
mouths forever, I see a girl outside
the cafe smiling in at her father
who smiles back but cannot hear her.