I don’t know what to do here,
at the end of our pretending,
where your absence reveals you
and makes you real at last.
We were a language too threadbare for names
too fragile for nouns;
and once a language has broken down
you cannot even say,
“the language has broken down”;
you open your mouth to speak and choke on muck.
Muck is the misunderstanding
of misunderstanding itself.
Muck us, muck all.
I cannot name this place:
the end of pretend is not the truth;
make believe does not unmake belief
when it dissolves.
And so I smile when asked,