SILENT DIALOGUE The Skins of Possible Lives Renée Gregorio You want to be free of so many things, yourself for one. And the heavy vigas. You want to be free of the driving wind, the empty canvas, the wilting strawberry plants. I don't know how to walk here, among the ruins. I trip on the rough-edged stones. It's too dry; I want to water everything without asking. The wind blows hard, delivering a whisper of father. A silent, invisible yoke. You dream of morphine. Another addiction, directing you to another sort of death. But you say in the dream, I have you and I don't want to die. Light against stone. The silence of a clenched muscle. Some days I think I want to get married. It's a matter of linguistics; I want to say husband. By the Rio Chiquito, Catanya told me lobsters mate for life. I thought of how many halves of couples I'd eaten. I'm sorry; I was hungry. When we woke this morning, we spoke without words of the wide, green field in the distance. It was before the alarm went off, after the shrill of coyote. Quick lightning split Pedernal. It was more than the curve of your bent elbow, more than the words we said that kept us together, more than that particular intersection. We saw the fragile leaf of the unflowering pansy and felt afraid. A song is building inside the lining of our throats. ©1996 Renée Gregorio