Assumptions Snowball

he speaks one hopeful half-truth
because the whole truth is unknowable
or pregnant with peril
& she hears most but not all of the half-truth
because she too has filters erected
a discipline for “seeing rightly”
if not clearly
& they agree in part
& fail to agree elsewhere
& more than half of this process
remains concealed…

with the passage of time
the half-sense of these layered exchanges
has fortified filters & deployed new defenses
& now he speaks
a slightly off-center less-than-half-truth
& she hears it from points unknown
within a favorite echo-chamber
in the narrowest flood-zone
of the valley of her solitude
where danger is most severe
& words are like glass rungs
on a ladder of angel hair…

so her response emerges as error
& he feels threatened & assumes the worst
that her caution is indifference
her incomplete gesture a deeper distaste
he is wounded
& she half-senses this recoiling as a threat
to her off-center half-offer of trust
& tonight they do not see each other
& tomorrow they make judgments
about destiny…

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