by Kiri L. K. Salazar
The words hewn from my mind are forced into uncomfortable arrangements.
Sentences with broken backs and incomplete endings.
Things that dangle.
A worrisome focus on grammar and clean lines—syllabication truncated to succinctness.
When all I want to do is run through words like a child through a field of flowers.
Wild and untethered,
I would pluck the verbs that please me best and make of them a bouquet. Smell the deep earthiness of adjectives that bite the tongue when you speak them.
Crush the scented mint between lips full of prose.
Using adverbs sparingly so as not to overpower the taste.
And with great pleasure.
Carefully measuring synonyms by the spoonful.
But harnessing words is tricky business.
Bringing them through the slip stream of consciousness and pinning them to the page is not unlike stabbing a butterfly after the ether withers them.
Do they become inert things no longer filled with life?
Pretty facsimiles of something that once breathed?
If words are not my playthings, then what toys do I have left?
How to describe what lurks in the folds of my mind?
If I cannot use them with abandon, are they orphaned?
Are they lost forever in a void of never-has-been-ness?
A not-being that sucks my soul into a black abyss.
Am I then become wordless?
It is over.
This dance of art I have done.
I’ve been and seen and lost and won.
And I’m here to report to you, that despite it all, art is still alive and well.
And living in Midwest Michigan, if only for a brief while.
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