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When Words Go Wrong

That time my voice went still: the words were said -

I could not take them back.

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I asked if I might be

forgiven, never dreaming

you could receive

my meaning clean, unscarred

beneath the spoken.

Words that fail

earn no reprieve,

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but mercy doesn't crack.

You saw me stall:

your voice came in

like music on my head

as if you hadn't heard

as if no code were broken.

Forgiving leaves us young

in sharing.

Having skill

to let no hurt

invalidate our art -

how then can we grieve

when words go wrong?

Or who can banish caring?