Words . . .
without them, speech would dry up.
A mouth would do nothing but
breathe and eat, maybe whistle.
Take away words and all books
would vanish into thin air—
let alone the Internet.
All those fine Hallmark greetings
would pass away like postcards
from travel spots, or letters from battles.
Sermons would melt in the dust
like so much hot air, as would
all political fare, say lawmaking.
Imagine counseling or
car-selling or carousing
without words—too tongue-tying.
No song would ever be sung
and no say of how we feel,
think, dream, mourn or imagine—
save for paintings, photographs,
dance, instrumental music:
every meaningful gesturing
act . . .
like kissing, hugging, holding
hands, or the attentivenessof another’s piercing gaze.