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The Quiet World by Jeffrey McDaniel

The other day you said goodbye, then last night you came round to say you’re not trying hard enough: you can’t get me out of your head. You’re confusing, but I’m weak: you break my heart but I take you back, again and again.

The Quiet World
Jeffrey McDaniel

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

Comments (2)

  • This reminds me of something that would happen within Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. Thanks for sharing this. I really like it.

  • safeinsidemyself

    I’d tell you to let go already, like I have done, but I think I’ve let go without moving on and it still hurts and eats away at me all the same. Some days I think to myself ‘but we only live once’ and wonder if I should just hold on and this time never let go, but for me it’s slightly different – he has already moved on.


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