07 June, 2008

Eliminate Words

I wrap a red bandana
around my head and grip
my keyboard tightly. I
make my way across the
poem. I don’t want to watch
my phrases dies, ink dribbling
out of their mouths, but I
must, I have my orders.

I stop. Listen. Scrambling
for its life is the phrase,
“the moon wrote sonnets
across their skin”. It sees me
and holds up all nine syllables
as if to say, “What harm could
I really do? I’m only seven
words, who’s even going to
notice if you let me slide by?”

“I would,” I reply, tapping out
a funeral march with the
backspace key.

I see the family. A
stanza of sentences all
huddled around each other,
trying desperately to advance
the poem’s plot, but they fail.
I say a prayer for their souls
and try to ignore the fear in
their eyes as I obliterate them.

A tiny ‘the’ stumbles along,
wondering where the rest
of its sentence went. I want
to let it stay, it’s only a baby
word. But even the babies can
grow up to ruin a whole piece.
I look away.


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