Written Word

Designed to tell history and fiction, truth and lies,
What we need to do, don’t want to do, wish we could do, will never do,
We always grip it until there’s nothing left to say.
An inky artery, always ready to spill someone’s guts,
Transcribes the ethereal mechanics of thought into language—
Curvy, jagged, bubbly, scratched moments of swelter.

Scribbling hands have stained leaves
With this writing stick, more evolved than us,
Filling love-struck journals full of hip-shaped hearts
Designed like a line of wet soot that is smeared as
A bitter waitress repeats her customers’ hunger—
Her pen slashing at the extra onions.
She will rest her tool back in her pocket
Like a doctor who has finished writing a blurry prescription,
To whom only the pen can translate, kill this man,
Cueing a poet to jot his obligated elegy.
With his silent-speaking conductor’s baton,
The words warm up like the brass section,
Spelling every note of requiem with
One of the few things we can decipher.