A Word on Words
I’ve never been very good with words.
I spend so much time searching for the right ones,
For that one perfect phrase to describe a feeling.
Slippery as a sunfish it incessantly escapes me,
Or gets hooked upon my lip.
It’s difficult to say what I mean,
Let alone mean what I say.
And words make it so much harder;
Ineffectual, impersonal and imprecise as they are.
I might say I love a steaming pot of tea in the morning,
Or a big cozy sweater on a winter’s day.
But sweaters and tea don’t quite add up to how I feel about you.
You might say a rose is pretty,
Or a sunset.
But I am hardly a flower or a sinking star.
I wish there were a way to pinpoint these feelings,
To let you know exactly what they are.
Instead I tread water futilely,
Drowning in the vagueness of language;
I simply choose silence.
Perhaps worst of all about words,
Is that they can lose their luster so devastatingly quickly.
I want meaning to permeate time; to last forever –
But I know it will decay along with the words that so poorly convey it.
Tea will always cool, sweaters will wear out;
Roses lose their petals and sunsets waste away to night.
Words fade with time, taking part of us with them,
And one day they will inevitably mean nothing.
We are such perishable items,
Dragged down by the impermanence of what we say,
All we have is now.
It has to be enough.
I’ll be your sunset as long as you’ll be my sweater,
And while blackened mountains and ruined garments may one day sing our defeat,
I’d like to hold hands with you until those moth-holes and horizon lines swallow us whole.