Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Words

Words, carefully removed
like splinters
How your mother used to,
only now without
the clean tweezers
and warm hand to hold

Each one cuts more
coming out than in.
Leaving scabs for every noun.
A dictionary of scars;
You recall each one:
light left the mark
on my jaw
rides along my calf

When the words are inside
they churn
like the gears of a watch;
movement enough to remind you they exist,
an uncomfortable symphony of ticks.
inside you.
inside me.


Take each word
Wipe off the history
And place it in the box
Your father used to keep receipts in,
The one he gave you
Two summers ago

Let the words
dance inside the tin
writing Holocaust novels
and bedtime stories
with every waltz

Don’t forget the words
Or else they’ll return
only made of shadows,
these wont let you forget.
They won’t heal over.
Don’t forget the words
(only where they came from!)

like raindrops penetrate soil
words penetrate flesh
they come from sisters
from lovers
from foes
from strangers
from friends
from you

Forget it all!
the marks they leave

spring on your shoulder blade
will keep you hopeful
naivety on your heel
will keep you grounded
the asteroid to the left of your navel
will keep you mystified

Don’t forget misery
on your elbow
or it will never leave you
Don’t forget laughter
on the nape of your neck
because it may not return

Let your body
be your opus.
let each word
make you weaker
make you stronger

just don’t forget
the words
(don’t remember them either)

-J. Geoghegan

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