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But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack…
—William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

In a pew you can’t recline much;
not much leg-room either.
Soon they’ll be a few folk walking the aisles
like air hostesses on jetliners.
For now it’s the
woosh of words
like pressurized air motorin’
past ears
smashin’ against
the moral-sound
erodin’em—righteous flecks in a whir of flotsam
, ramjets, disintegrations
(((shhhhhhh))).

Some words are just shapes to fill a lack
—white-noise-words without pigmnet
; never-felt-words
; over-said-words that evaporate like contrails
miles behind the pulpit

(there’s a majesty in the clouds,
though; clouds
fill up to break loose).

It’s writ, The word became flesh.
Words that don’t incarnate
ain’t no good-words, just words that don’t reckon
the nimbocumulus overhead,
run in circles, diminish and
disappear in belches and accretions:
perish, putrefy like fishes—wash
away in the cloudburst.


First published in the Fall/Winter issue of Nimrod International Journal (2012)

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