There are words separate and lonely,
angry at someone somewhere
who doesn't send letters.
There are words that break down,
shut off, there are words that splinter,
disintegrate, that turn to black powder on the carpet.
There are words that hurt so much
that you want to use words
to make someone else hurt that badly too.
There are words that betray a secret
you never knew you carried.
There are words that make someone curl
into fetal position, that start a war,
that make entire cities crumble into sand.
There are words pouring out of the newspaper,
the radio, the television, pouring into your aching
traffic-jammed body, words all over you.
There are no words swimming naked
across the dark lake in summer.
There are no words looking up from under goosedown
at a splash of stars over the midnight grove.
There are no words flying over the wild river
which cuts blue canyon land.
There are no words embracing on the elevator
in the last moment before the doors open.
There are no words casting into the rough ocean
in search of darting blues.
There are no words painting indigo arcs and swirls
across canvas with fluid brush strokes.
There are no words drumming syncopated rhythms
in time with the other musicians to form
one pulsing body of sound.
There are no words where I want to go.
from Sending Messages Over Inconceivable Distances (copyright 2000),
first published in the journal Puerto del Sol
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