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Please Scream Inside Your Heart

ISSUE:  Summer 2022


[Translation of Japanese regulation banning screaming on amusement-park rides]

Please scream
inside your heart: hold
your terror, your errors, your

regrets apart
from those around you. Keep
a clinical distance, sterile

as a needle. Don’t let
an emergency state
grow with contagion; please

no pressure on the plexiglass
between us. An outbreak
of heartache already plagues

our shallow plots: newly dug,
grassless as a winter that follows
the spring. We must maintain

decorum, we must
contain our energies.
We must retire

our cries into mere
Circumstances grow

dire. Circumstances
require us to acquire
new skills: wail more

softly. Silently, preferably.
Internally, necessarily.
At least quietly, quietly. Quietly

tend your muzzled scream
inside your heart, cradled
like a delicate gem

that increases
in solidity and shine
as it survives

the press of time.



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