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Posts Tagged ‘words’

Future Imperfect

 

 

 

We’ll catch up soon,

I say, and I actually believe it—

though after I say them

the words stare at their watches

and rush off, late

for their next sentence,

their letters shaking their heads

their sans serif heads,

as if they know

I’ll never learn.

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Candor

 

 

 

That’s when the words

arrive barefoot

and not in the tight laced shoes

we set out for them

by the door,

 

and they surprise us—

perhaps because

they appeared on the lips

via tiptoe,

perhaps because

they bypassed the brain

with a leap—

 

so that before

we have a chance

to stop the rogue words,

they bounce

off the tongue

and out into the air

where anyone,

even we—

despite our horror—

are astonished

at their pluck,

 

so naked and

going for it

anyway.

 

 

 

 

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Two Nearlys

Two Nearlys

these empty hands—

there was a time

they grasped for emptiness

*

just before the words

there’s the chance to say nothing—

trees don’t have this problem

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I spent them all,
every single pretty word
I’d meant to give to you,
spent them on the moon,
on a dozen dozen flowers,
on the long drive home,
but I did show up with
these lips and all
this extravagant silence.
I wonder what else
might happen?

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As a bundle of hay, when carried,
becomes heavier and heavier,

so it is with words we swallow.
They begin, light as the leaf

of a forget-me-not, light as
a golden straw of hay, just a hair

heavier than breath. But the longer
the words go unsaid and the more

of them we swallow,
the more they gain weight,

the more they cripple us unspeaking ones,
and soon it is as if we had swallowed a bed

of river stones. Sometimes
we can no longer move at all,

so burdened we become. Sometimes
it takes a complete falling apart

to release all that weight, all those
pent words. No one wants this, of course,

some great spilling. The gaping wound.
The chaos. The words, and the fear

wrapped around them, exposed.
But it is not so bad as we think.

Sometimes, once bare to the sun
and clear air, the words break out

of the calcified layers
and we see them for all they are,

tiny boxes into which
we pack our worst fears, our dreams,

our anger, our desire, our bliss. We open
the boxes and whatever inside has not
turned to dust grows wings,

and our mouths open, perhaps in awe, perhaps
wishing they’d fly back in.

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Oh world, I love you,
you with your roots
that thrust up through pavement,
you with your mudflows
and rockfalls and storms.
See how daily you feed
and destroy me. How
gorgeous your fruits,
how merciless your gravity.
I love you, world, how
you make me and fuel me
and undo me again and again. Always
another death to die
and always a new bloom.
Never the same, always
the same. World, it feels
too proud to say I am you,
you with your splendor,
you with your grace.
I am dust and ashes.
You move me, adventure me.
World, thy will be done.
My problems are not problems.
My laws all are nonsense.
My rules, my dreams are cages.
Sometimes I forget to let you
raze me. I try to wrestle
the club from your hands.
And when the destruction
is done, I try to rebuild the walls,
not seeing you were offering me
infinity. Sometimes you first bring me milk,
then tear me down tenderly,
your hands the hands of a lover
undressing me slowly, but not
stopping with the scarf, the skirt—
taking also every idea I have,
every certainty, every word,
everything I would say is mine.
World I am rambling through
the silence you hold for me.
I am like a woman dying of thirst
who splashes the water with eager hands
instead of cupping it, raising it to her parched lips.
Oh world, I am losing my mind
and laughing about it. All language
is dust, and look, you blow it away.
Still I am talking to you, crazy,
I love you, I love you. Come wind,
catch these words, rend them
from the one who thinks
she is speaking. Let them fall
all around her like leaves.

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So long I’ve lived
beneath the same brown birds
and still I do not know
which song belongs to which.
So long I’ve walked
through this meadow
and still I refer to all
the tall green stems as grass.
So long I’ve sat across from you
and still I wonder
who you are.
Oh, do you hear it?
One of those birds,
how it sings
so beautifully,
even in the dark.

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