Regular Poem: Vocabulary

23 Nov

Stock phrases
pet words
la langue

seep in
and overtake


stack up
pile on
intermingle and

and the brain’s dictionary
each page
and a vocabulary grows
and winds
in and out
of itself
summersaults over and around neurons
creating and exercising certain pathways
and neglecting others
leaving them overgrown and
covered in leaves and detritus.

the words have been
written in
disappearing reappearing ink.

How did I talk
6 months ago?
6 years ago?

A shooting star
(a meteor burning up quickly in the atmosphere)
briefly lights my neural sky.
just sometimes
I can drive a reconnaissance Jeep
out to the crater
examine its ore
reintegrate it
into my current tongue.

But it always tastes
as though it’s
the first time
I’ve caressed it

like a song
you haven’t heard in 10 years
you know all the lyrics

like the first cold night
you snuggle under
the blanket
you’ve once more liberated
from the hall closet
that smells like last year’s winter

like a face
you know you know
but you don’t
and in the middle of the night
you awake with it on your lips
the name middle name all suffixes prefixes designations birthday favorite color

and above all
a phrase
you associate with it.

One must wonder at that.
That that that
adheres itself to a specific cranny
in one’s brain–

a person
and its significant quotation
indelibly linked
in memoriam
of the person you knew
at that moment
in that moment
for that moment.

Does that person
even say that

That certainly
doesn’t affect
its placement in your brain–
the decimal system
is fixed
or fixated
with an image and a sound
or a sound and a fury
regardless all tales and all idiots
a brief candle
caught on camera
shared on Instagram–
tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
you will still think of it
until something new
cleanses the damned spot.

And one must wonder
how many versions
of oneself
in other brains:
that thing you used to
prattle on about
in 11th grade
that political phase in 2008
that depressive episode two weeks ago

that caption on your photo
accurate in its way
like a yearbook
but innacurate too
a constant micro-evolution.

You’re the same species
but your vocabulary
begs to differ.

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