dirty words

how can i say it any other way


they leave

and they aren’t coming back

they’ll dry up

and become part of the air

that you’ll never breathe

they’ll soak into the pores of the pavement

on the street corner of 16th and mission

they’ll be part of a bum’s breakfast

or what becomes of his breakfast

they’ll go below

their meaning

they will find new meaning

they will have no meaning at all

but whatever it is

that sent those words

on their way

our machines

made of flesh

and bone


from the inside

by an electrical field

a grid

that we call consciousness

by which our city lights

are lit

our lit

our literature

is inside

it is here to stay

our books are written

on the inside

of the inside

of our palms

they will stay

even as the words


even as the kiss


and the night

is swallowed by the day

they will stay

and they will make new words

and those words

will leave

they won’t come back

but it’s okay

who needs words

when you have a voice


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