but words will never hurt me

it isn’t pain exactly-
but they do that, don’t they?
pierce, protrude, stick
in your throat, to your heart- the spirit-
die softly upon reiteration

there isn’t anything wrong with it,
that’s just what they do (sometimes)
slip pass mirrored hallways
and broken staircases
to the forgotten garden, the forbidden room
(sweet. sharp.)

the line is strung with words you know, their fiery charge lives way below

she lines them up,
again and again
one just after the other
they spit and spill from her burgundy lips;
their tone and pitch, her fevered bones

the ways she writes about her life
make me want to go back and relive my own,
pay closer attention this time;
to the cats and the light,
to the sky, to the people
to the love

sometimes it feels like maybe she’s just spoken the last five words
that will ever be spoken and maybe it’s enough

not grief or nostalgia, something closer
a familiar face, a forgotten name

authors note

this one is for the incredible writers i’m so fortunate to read and write with every week. we meet on zoom for two hours every thursday night and i always leave our time together hopeful & inspired- filled with ideas, excitement & warmth. the work of my fellow writers often moves me to tears, and it’s usually while i’m offering my feedback on their work that my words (which are their words) cause great emotion is rise up in me. this feeling is the foundation of this poem. to edwina, liza, judy and our incomparable teacher, katharine kaufman, thank you, thank you thank you- i’m so grateful for what we continue to co-create each week.

One response to “but words will never hurt me”

  1. “the ways she writes about her life
    make me want to go back and relive my own”

    this resonates so much right now

    Liked by 1 person

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