Even Better

but not with words, please, no.

Even Better
Photo by Marina Vitale / Unsplash

by Seth Kaplan

Speak to me,

but not with words, please, no.

No talking, quiet.

Look at me.

Squint your eyes,

or open them wide,

or glance to the side quickly

so I can see the veins crawl through the white towards me, at me.

I'll know, then, what you want me to.

Flare your nostrils, curl your top lip,

Up or down or wiggle it –

an inchworm stretches across broad leaf.

Purse your lips, tight, make a seal

or leave space like a mail slot,

teeth a white brick wall behind.

Or scrunch the bottom one under the top

making dimples on your chin.

I'll know that you disapprove or are saddened.

Smile the smile that won me

as the sun wins the morning.

Or turn away, hair in a whirl,

lines quick in your neck 'till the body follows.

Walk away -- if you must

Or stare at the wall, bow your head.


But do not speak.

Do not speak because you don't have to

because I'll know even better if you don’t.

Seth Kaplan writes and practices law in Evanston, IL, where he is learning to empty nest with his wife, Elizabeth. When not lawyering and writing, Seth coaches baseball, practices yoga, gardens and cooks.