I thought of the Dead Book—

I thought of the Dead Book
quotation from a phone text
happy or sad
you do not know
I know
memory and color
laughter and music
joy and sharing for a very small
club of four with their father of one
exclusive tribe
you cannot know
you cannot understand
as we do

Language is a tease
it does not strip
it covers up
it hides the cowards
whose industry creates
the perpetually offended class.
You do not know these people
they do not know you
do not be so quick to judge
do not be so quick to be judged

Never, ever, ever be afraid
to let people wonder what you think
nothing is more repressive
than being counted upon
no one gets to decide for you
unless you give them that power
my innocent thought might hurt you, so what?
Do you blame a rose for every thorn?
Do you blame God for every garden?
It’s not a tree of knowledge
it’s a tree of all the things
we do not know about each other

There is an ocean between me and you
the water is wide

—Don Whittington