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The Season This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Most of the time,
I find it difficult to harvest
the proper words from the curve of my neck
where the skin dips down
and shakes hands with my chest.
The fine hairs raise and fall,
the color of wheat,
exhaling what others want and inhaling what I need.
In,
out,
in,
out.
Using my primitive tools,
I rip
the necessary parts of speech
from my throat
and use the so called precious arterial mud
that is equatable to manure
to fertilize my lungs
so that although I am dead,
my voice
is
not.

Sometimes,
I can pluck
proper phrases
from my eyebrows;
I can hunt them
through the tall grass that sits
upon my livid plains.
I imagine my pencil
is a spear
and try not to look
when the graphite
pierces their pure bodies,
killing the meaning
as yet another mediocre artist
paints them upon the lines of his notebook,
wounding
the effect words have on the world
because if they are used too often,
they mean nothing at all.

Occasionally,
my ink pen
forms a circle of deep blue
into which I can cast my line
and retrieve the perfect letter from a sea of ephemeral pieces.
I am merely part
of a larger industry
that traps
the delicate curves
of spines
and sharp points
of serifs
nestled between ascenders
and shoulders
into nets
made from blue lines on bleached paper.
I desperately cling
to the descenders
that hang past the edge of the cliff
because by God I will not die
even if it means shooting something as beautiful as that
which I rely on to keep me afloat.

However,
there are times,
when that is too much effort -
too much exertion required of my small, inadequate equipment,
I am left
to abandon the ink-laden sea,
to discard my fields of words and phrases
in search
of a way
to pull the plug
at the bottom of the bathtub in my brain
and watch as the opaque,
grimy,
filth-ridden water circles
around
and
around,
exposing things
I never knew were there.
In those milliseconds
where the contaminants drain away
and there is complete transparency,
I find what I am looking for
before I am even certain
what I needed in the first place.




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