per curiam

For months now I've been seeing a star get bigger and brighter and closer, until I finally realized it's not a star at all. It's a gavel coming down, fueled by finality so sure it's splitting the sky in half.  

Every night the courtroom assembles on my ceiling. The jury troops in, exhausted by evidence that doesn't sway them as much as emotion, no matter how many times it is trotted out for their review. A judge in heavy black robes presides, a faceless ghost whose ruling will set no one free, anyway. 

And you. You shuffle in, locked in chains whose weight and shame have somehow transferred to me. 

And I. I lay pinned on my back, listening, learning nothing of use as you plead the fifth for the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth time. 

We represent ourselves, or at least pretend to, two souls already jailed by our own devices. And every night I wait for you to object. And every night I watch your face for some sign of protest. But silence is the only argument you have to make, and I have no choice but to allow it.