I’ve never had much faith in words,
but with these knobby knuckles, I’m no guitarist.
With this color defect,
I’ll never paint. Too bad I have only joy & sorrow,
one & a half languages, and the belief that
all words become useful if you hold on to them long enough.
Too bad there are no words
that will convince her to love me again. I know because
no word resonates with heartbeat
or synapse the way a dulcimer snakes into gyri & fissures.
No word carries meaning
like the wounded voice. Some days I just read these poems
in front of the open window.
Even if that sound can’t climb the roof, I have to believe
my words can find their utility
somewhere in the ether—that my voice can still find
the frequency at which the past dissolves
& the tongue’s flapping can mean something like a new beginning.
- The title of this poem is an adaptation of a statement in Robert Frost's Education by Poetry: "All metaphor breaks down somewhere. That is the beauty of it."
- This poem was first published in The Mildred Haun Review.