The Words


With the words, they just run backwards—away from where I asked them to go—faster and faster until all that’s left is a cloud of dust and my wonder of how it was they arrived in the first place.

With the words, they just jump high—up up into the sky and when I don’t feel so low, I can bounce and graze them with the tips of my fingers. I lick my lips in anticipation because that feeling—that one of bones and cells and muscles and blood filling with breath—lightness, softness, comes—and after the wave of nausea, I fall to my knees in celebration.

With the words, they just dart left and right—a zig-zag across a tiny room that isn’t space enough for them to grow bigger and so together, we take it to the streets; together, the words and I sing it all out loud as we dance down back alleys, looking for traces of the secrets we left there in our last life.

With the words, they just move to and fro—and sometimes, I can feel them go until they are nothing but a mirage in the distance. For days and nights, I trek through unforgiving territory on my search to find them; my throat raspy, the sun peeling away layers of memories of who I’m supposed to be as my skeleton makes her way to the surface of my skin, protruding her edges out into the shyest places. In these moments, the lost words have made me desperate and needy—I clutch onto anything I can find to prove my own relevance.

With the words, they just seem to know when they’ve been gone too long, gone gone gone too long. I see them race towards me, filling the emptiness with something like joy but I must catch them if I can and so each moment of each day and all the small ones in-between are spent standing out under the stars with a catchers’ mitt, waiting for them to come home.


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