Lost Are the Words as Buried Treasure

I lost my words.
I’ve been looking everywhere
under pillows
in books
my mailbox
in the steam floating off my morning latte
in the rapid swish swish of my puppys’ tail
in the click of a purple satin stiletto
No words.
No words.
No sounds of words
or word fragments
not even a letter.

Once I was a treasure hunter of words
I could find them anywhere
under salt and brine and tears
in the sinewy muscle of ink
of skin, naked and chafed
in the space between teeth
they’d glisten
like juice, like rubies
daring to be found
but they’re gone
like a crevice in my flesh

I want
just one word, small and ordinary
so that I may carry it out back
bury it in moist soil
until it blooms
into a story of me.
of the places I want it to touch
or the ones it couldn’t possibly ever.
but the words are stolen
and now
with my mouth sewn shut
eyes glued closed
fingers nailed together
so my hands chomp chomp chomp
and hammer
in a great cleaving mess
on the keyboard
to pound out nonsense
I scream
squeezing out red sweat
til I burst and gasp and fight
to get
the ugly
of no words
out out OUT!

I don’t even know what this is
or where
or how it came to creep up inside
me, like a malignant cloud
stealer of my muse
thief of words
i’ll probably find it lurking
beyond the walls of the place
I’ve shut myself into
laughing through the crack in my windowsill
jubilant in the battle it thinks it’s winning

Am I covered with it?
like a rash
like a quake
a fissure my words
fell into
I’m full of dry red brick
spitting out little bits
of tiny
building a wall
my fortress
punching toward the sky
wanting only to be sucked on
with the ripeness of words

It won’t always be like this
I swear
I whisper to myself
not always
Tomorrow I will see for 60 miles
I will go to where my heart grows
lick the branches swinging free there
catch the words floating
in shafts of light
beneath the trees
I’ll close my eyes
look up when I hear
the distant sound of chimes
imagine myself
inside the words
and the words inside me

© 2009 mstrace

Lost Are the Words as Buried Treasure


California, United States

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

Sometimes, words fail me.

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