There Is No Need To Inform Me Of My Excessive Use Of Commas And Run-On Sentences. I Know, I Know. Maybe, Instead Of New Words, I Need New Punctuation.

The problem is thus: there are no words.

How many times have I been left warbling, over-thinking, fingers fluttering awkwardly, panicking in a slipshoddy kind of way, chasing after that one word, dammit? Belying several millennia of enhanced evolution with my verbal inability? Attempting to coerce my disjointed brain into cooperation? The blackout lull left between me and the supposed recipient of my conversation as conspicuous as a third person whistling a tune once heard in an elevator?

Enough times. More than enough times. And dear God, how it kills me, how it kills me.

Sometimes, arms curled around wet grass, I think: no words. Or sitting still for the benefit of a curling, white butterfly. Or the stench of chlorine, of saltpeter. Or a tipped-over rocking chair. Or the mark on your hand where you scalded yourself with a teapot. Or the suction cups left on that rock where I ripped away a starfish, where I stood shocked, convinced I had killed something made of perfection until you touched my shoulder and whispered: “they’ll grow back, Emma, they’ll grow back”. Or the gurgle of a first real laugh. Or the sensation of having been thoroughly wrong, and okay with being wrong. I think: no words.

I like to think that I will someday have newer, fresher words to explain what I now cannot. Better words that will be able to convince you, and more importantly, that will be able to convince me.

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