Before Language

We walk the streets, pulling leaves from the trees,
petals from the flowers.
They wouldn’t last but now
the net of the day catches them,
pins them in the albums with the photos
we will never show to anyone.
The clouds pass over us like words
we might one day say to one another;
we have no use for them.

When it rains, we pull the letters off the shelf,
wear them on our heads,
an o around the ankle, d tucked behind an ear,
g pinching the bridge of a nose.
They hang there as though
their only purpose were adornment.

 

Originally appeared on Northern Virginia Buses as part of Moving Words Competition, Arlington County Commission for the Arts

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