The Accidental

The Accidental

The word I’ve written is wrong.

Its “a” is short and its “t”

Is long, and everything between

Writhes obfuscatedly.


I had a plan that sprawled

Out a golden road with jade

Trees for shade and diamond signs for each

Decision to be made.


But this word, with its harsh,

short sounds and hazy black

meaning barricades that path

and leaves me stranded, blank.


Yet as I raise my hand

To erase this verbal trap,

I freeze. She bows and bobs across

the line with grace I couldn’t tap,


Imagine, or imitate.

Each curve and dip is scratched

into the paper; if I do

destroy this written patch


her form will still be there, here,

a smudgy skeleton

of lead illuminating just

how great she could have been.


But she is not what I

desired. I breathe. I tip

my pencil upside-down and then



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