Aftermath by A.J. Odasso I see us, fragile, as from a distance— ephemera of nerve and bone. So much breath contained in one cage, we explode. I was not always afraid to speak my mind. I was not always this shaking, mercurial knot of pain. I, too, had vision. Lacked shame. We cannot restore what our earliest days erase. We reach for each other, think harder on what we must say. Still, the tongue lashes. The sting of it gives us away.