Semiology says that words are arbitrary,
that words don’t mean what they refer to,
that the word book doesn’t really feel or sound or look like a book,
that words don’t emanate meaning unless they stand for something.
But what if words precede the object?
What if there was a secret forgotten language where the words were their referents and didn’t just refer to them?
What if there was a word for the object we refer to as book that feels and looks like a book,
that sounds like the flipping of pages and tastes of paper?
And what if the key to all of this, the answer, 42, was that word that stands for me that means me?
We need to find the least common denominator of all the things we love
Poetry Kisses Dancing Music Books Walks
that would be the word.
I wish slitting the wrist of the clock
would let this moment last forever–-
your tongue is so deep in my ear
it feels like a paintbrush, coating
the dark, peeling walls inside my head
with a carmine veneer. I was expecting
you to run, when you saw the cartilage
in the closet. I was prepared to chase
after and whisper you have beautiful
footsteps, when the truth is you make
my toes tingle like the capital of Venezuela.
I know loving me isn’t easy–- the all-night
helicopter parties, the glow-in-the-dark
haircuts, but when I look at you
it’s like praying with my eyes. I know
it’s stupid to not own a gun yet have
so many triggers, but in some other world
gigantic seashells hold humans
to their ears and listen to the echo
of machines. I apologize for the fossils
growing on the dishes, how the rug is covered
with cocktail umbrellas when you wake up,
it was raining margaritas, and the stars
came on backwards last night.