What’s in a word?
Following letters come syllables,
from syllables there is stress,
with stress there is sound,
and that makes a word.
Words are given meanings
as arbitrary as the letters.
But what about feeling?
The feeling of a word
rolling out of your mouth and
caressing your tongue.
Energy and light from the soul
What’s in a phrase?
A few words strung together,
now given new meaning by
their order. Eliciting feelings
and constantly shifting,
mood and body language depending.
What about feeling with phrases –
more intense than merely words.
One word can slice while many can dice.
The words just keep coming
and they never stop once they are inside.
The words become our blood –
circulating and powering
the organs that make us live.
The words make us see stars.
We don’t know why, only that
they might hurt or might scar.
We may feel joy or confusion…
delight or delusion.
It’s too late once it’s our blood.
Words circulate our veins
and nothing’s the same
once the phrase comes alive.
The phrase is a maze
that we cannot escape.
Words and phrases – they may bite.
They may peel away our soul or
a piece may break off
brittle and crumbling
like our sense of self-worth.
These words increase our self-loathing
and phrases are foreboding.
Even now, as I say these words and phrases,
I say them deliberately and with rhythm.
Whether heard or read
or spoken or imagined –
You can feel them.
They are moving you
and you may not understand why or how.
You wonder: why won’t I just get to the point already?
With tears in my eyes, listen to me now:
You’re a fucking bitch.
Say that again and I’ll put your ass on the floor.
You’re a cunt.
I hate you.
You’re not leaving.
Don’t walk away from me.
You deserve it.
I didn’t hit you, so it wasn’t abuse.
You had it coming.
It’s your fault, not mine.
You’re overdramatizing what happened.
I can’t remember saying that.
You’re not normal.
I wish you were like other girls.
Many letters on a page, with spaces in-between,
making phrases and I don’t know what they mean.
The words haunt me. I’m a broken girl
forever and I can’t even see
where I’ve been or where I’m going.
I just know the words are blood
and they’ll never, ever leave.
I’ll never forget what it feels like to not want to breathe.
To be afraid: of the dark, of what might happen next,
of never knowing what to expect,
of having to run and deal with the shame,
the judgments, the questions, the blame.
No matter what happens, I’ll never be the same.
I implore you to consider what’s in a word.
Specifically, your words, before they are heard.