I press one end of a tin can
telephone to my ear and you
hold the other.

We play tug of war with the rope
between us.

Nylon and polyester intertwined with
our voices; frayed at the edges with
our laughter, tears and pauses.

You are always pulling me over the
line of my vulnerability.

Sometimes my heels push through
the sand refutably like the ocean
caught in a lover’s tiff with the
shore, and other times I surrender
willingly; spill the salt that I
meant for my wounds.

I try to sketch the map of your face
on to the canvas of my mind but
you are one-hundred and sixty
telephone poles away and I do not
know how to draw blindfolded.

All you offer is a reflection of my
words, remaining anonymous.

Yet, a frame of glass offers me its
name; gently tucks mirror into my
pocket knowing that I will always
be relinquishing more vulnerability
than it.

There will always be an imbalance
of power, but it gives me something,
lets me be the one that gets
to pull the rope stronger for
a moment.

Maybe I am Leonardo Da Vinci
reincarnated and need a name to
draw a portrait of someone’s smile.

And maybe this has nothing to
do with Mona Lisa at all.

We share our lives with people
we know nothing about.

We give our name to the cashier
at our morning coffee shop.

We give our name to our mother’s
friend in the shopping centre.

We give our name to the
receptionist at the doctor’s

I give you a piece of my life and
you are a stranger.

But because I’m now someone you
know you won’t give me your

We have come to live in a culture
that no longer believes in
stranger danger because we are
now made to accept that
anonymous is a name.

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