To be fine

September 3, 2011
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For all the threading silvers,
and melodies of the English language,
“fine,” is so plainly deceiving.
A trickster of simplicity, fine sneaks
onto our tongues, in fiery rage,
in melancholy, as though the elegant words
must be saved for rare occurrences.
A small child, only hoping for the sweet aroma
of a chocolate chip cookie to fill his mouth,
spits the word in steccatto measures,
matching the beat of his pounding feet,
as the moody sister forces the cookie out
of his hopeful fingers.
“Fine,” slips through the crooked teeth
of the heartbroken sister.
An easy filler, to keep the pained worry
off parents’ faces,
a simple repetition,
to sway her from utter silence.
In one simple moment, the girl
goes from damn fiiiiine
to one sharp syllable,
one inhalation of a word
that means nothing.
She breathes through
the lie of the word,
as her parents
examine the fine arts--
such vague feelings
for the power of the deep
blue strokes, and
tortured landscapes.
What if Degas’ dancers
were having an off day?
“Fine” sends us into the unsaid,
into the tornado of hurt
which cannot be claimed by gesture,
or haunting vocabulary.
For we are fine
when all else has disappeared.

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