To be misunderstood can be the writer’s punishment for having disturbed the reader’s peace. The greater the disturbance, the greater the possibility of misunderstanding.

Anatole Broyard


3:36 am

if I whisper words

will you hear them?

if I fashion them



just so

will you understand what I am truly saying?

I have bled into every word

I have saved tears and tucked them into the corner
of every picture that I hand you

I tell stories, speaking softly and slowly
in order to mitigate the drama

because the drama ruffles your feathers
and stops up your ears

so I stop talking

But the stories rumble

and my bleeding heart is impatient
with my whispering concerns over reception

it circles and




until bars bend

and all runs free

I howl and claw

and no longer give a damn if you speak Italian or French


~ Betsy Cañas Garmon