i can feel myself growing quieter
every time we're together.
letting silences lengthen,
prodding you forward into
lectures on morality or science.

i no longer know how to speak
with you. i fall apart
at the very idea.
i expect you to criticize me,
mock me, make me feel
young and naive
if i dare to voice my opinion.

this is as much my fault as yours:
i do not trust my own judgment;
how could i possibly ask you to do
what i cannot?

but regardless of the reasoning,
the reality is the same:

i am fading away, slow & steady,
and taking our future with me.

an. 5/3