Part 45


There should be a name for the way
your skin feels against mine. Not
in any language I know. A word from
an alien lexicon that I can hold in my
tongue, incorrectly, in wonder,
swallowing vowels because some
days are too much, but some days are
just enough — enough — syllables
sliding under each other in
unfamiliar ways.


We broke that word. We let it fall, let
it shatter into infinite sounds. When
a word is destroyed, a tree grows
from every whisper, bearing
poisonous fruit. When a world
is destroyed.


What is the half-life of a


What is the etymology of a word
that is no longer a word? What
is its meaning in a world that
is no longer
a world?


Now this hush, this indefinite
non-articulation, this silent road
stretching from the back
of your mouth to mine. Mouths
without words, without


I cannot speak of the word, without
the word. The cesspool of metaphors
and spaces, four verses where
there should be a single pirouette
tracing rings in the sunshine. Your
body against my body, you skin against
my skin. Just enough. Syllables
sliding. A world bereft of its
word bereft of its world.


The average temperature
of the average human
body is
98.6°F. Silence
is its


We see flecks of silver in the
night sky. Jupiter. One dot. Venus.
Another. The moon. Dots against
Dots. Some things need distance
to be visible. To be whole.
We cannot make up a word
for distance we cannot
comprehend. We cannot
make up distance
without a word, without a


When silence freezes, you
can walk on it. It eats up your
footprints. Quiet leaves no
markers. There is nothing
to show you the way back.


The night is loud. Insistent.
I talk to you, without you,
in sentences without words.
Without the word. Word
fragments arrange themselves
as silver dots in another sky.
Another world. Silence tastes
of warm ink inside my mouth.


The average length of the
average night is
measured in


The word ‘word’
comes from the German
Wort and the Dutch woord.
‘Silence’ comes from
something broken. That
used to be a word.


That used to be a


15 thoughts on “Part 45

  1. Intriguing thoughts. Reading this made me think of how words are so often weapons of choice in an uncertain perilous world, their meanings meant to confuse and frustrate.


  2. Wow. I like the parallel of word and world and the deep questions like what is the half life of a dishonest word. How a lie corrupts and word is world and world is word. They Bible says something like t hat.


  3. The word is “touch”, noun or verb. It needs most times an adjective or adverb to set its mood and place. Romantic will be a big help in your setting, passion makes the word more intense. Even the word, “feelingly” in makes it inquisitive, and is looking for a responce. Etc. Like the king, it has its place firmly routed in our language.


  4. This is glorious! I find myself wanting to quote so many lines, whole stanzas. But the one that sticks is the idea of “‘Silence’ com[ing] from / something broken.” No wonder silence is so loud, so deep, so disconcerting. When things are torn, even swallowed screams shake everyone involved.


  5. What masterful use of language. Brilliant! (9) is my favourite.
    “What is the half-life of a
    I guess depends on what is the word? 🙂


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