We each own a favorite word.
But my word is a deep secret
that I will not admit aloud
and have written many times.
(There are yet secret words
in my public writing life.)
Words have grace like dance
but we give them both away
far too often, and so freely.
Are you a dancer if you only go
with your matched dance partner?
Is it the woman of words
or she who hides them away
that thinks better of the word?
Will this word still have power
when I someday use it, allow it
to be alive, not just pondered?
I say still, as if it has been.
I have spoken love, and strange
and wonderful and many others,
but this word lays (lies?) in
ceremonial state, waiting for
the right moment to be donned.
Reserved not for a celebration;
quiet is the word to quiet us.
To whisper breath over coals
is still to light the fires.
Oh, my word is a deep secret
that I long someday to reveal.
Born hollering, live hollering
97% certain of things other people are certain don’t exist
too much to fit in one glass, too little for two whole glasses
spilling out on the world
in love with the shape and color of everything
more afraid of how I live than how I die
angry about living in a word that makes me angry
happy to live in one that also can make me happy
worried about my footprint on others’ lives,
positive, negative, other; and the size of each category
generally aimed at a goal
but who is not wandering?
and who has not once wondered at the fuchsia of the sun?
To be born anew again
is a myth I keep close.
That tabula rasa is always
just out of my reach;
whether I fail,
or someone else fails,
to hold up their end of the deal.
We all seek self-interest.
This ruins our clean slate
as soon as it is born.
there is no solace to be sought
in making ourselves clean;
we are dirtied as we wash.
Anger appears. Lies happen.
Even when retracted,
they hang out in the world
acknowledged, perhaps ignored.
There is a lie I seek:
to be clean of my own account.
I may be born new in this place,
but never pure.