the word is empty, trite, passé.
a portrait of a portrait,
the details lost in the faded paints.
a biological construct:
heartwaves, brainbeat -
reduced to the most basic functions,
it soldiers on in trenches and on sidewalks.
maybe old dictionaries
that smell like rusty water
hold the meaning to the words that fill our heads
and library books
with magnetized spines and scoliosis
open to the pages hasty fingers plucked at,
the passages adolescent dreamers underlined
eight- nine- ten-word sentences
of sympathy and regret
as defined in language, life is simply
another four-letter word (two consonants, two vowels)
as defined in living, life is all
but some nights driving blind down the denim freeway,
clinging to the sky,
shading the cement bandages
that stripe earth,
burned and blurry with the vestiges
the moonlight on the water:
maybe that's it.