Friday, March 17, 2017

FAVORITE CRAYONS

Remember back
when you
first began

to read
books that weren't simply
handed to you,

and
you came
across those weird words?

Easy, even
pretty to look at,
but hard to pronounce

ones,
such as ego
and unorthodox.

Some that tasted
like dry, brittle
bricks in your mouth—misanthropic,

intrigue,
counterintelligence,
for instance.

And naturally, those words
that shimmered
and slid

down around and in between
the moist
folds of your brain,

stimulating it
in a way that was
excruciating

precisely
because it felt so nice?—ones
like guile

and callow,
impressionist 
and furtive

curt
and agnostic.
Remember

not only when you read them,
but when you
first—understood? Not

what they meant,
but the way it felt
to collect things like that.

To keep them
and to hold
smell and save

and never use them,
like your favorite crayons
in an old cardboard box?

And how they made you
feel better?
Less alone,

less afraid
to dominate
your own disdain.

But then,
after a while,
and as more

and more strange
ideas were hurled out at you,
you realized

that eventually, you'd have to
pick yours up and
use them?—

realized
that silence, for you,
could never be

a shield—not when it
when it already made
such a good sword.

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