life before this

the Second Word

What I want
to get at
the moment
a word
comes into
the head
the second
a new word-concept
explodes in the mind
you are forever changed
no mere cognitive tool
you now think THROUGH
this word
it is
part of you are part
you both are one yeah
like a strand of DNA
the new word an allele
and you an allele no
that’s not it
what about someone you love
or a song gets in your head
or some comedy bit
you keep repeating
over over overly peating
until IT becomes you
become IT more:
as though forever after
neither exist but in
stead a new

combinantstrain

exists for the
first time–sure for other
people that old word
still stands alone waiting
for the moment when
fusion should occur that’s
the power of language the
right word goes
to the center of my
being takes over I
have to look the world
through once more
the lens this word
so new I can’t
believe I lived
without it so poor
all those years bereft
like our ancestors so
far back the time
punctuated equilibrium
just monkeys really
wait waiting around
for THE FIRST WORD
imagine the anguish
250,000 years without
a word we’re spoiled
up here so many
words like swarms of
mosquitos at night you’re
trying to piss they’re all over you
with their little
dictionary proboscii

but let’s go back to
our monkey past
because something
a charging bull rhino
or a pond turned into
boozy cider by fallen
fruit or a love-mad
lust-crazed
monkey lover
or sorrow so
obsidian sharp that
THE OLD WAY
of moan grunt belch
weep
just wasn’t cutting it and
too we see this ape-grandmother
ape-grandfather
so far back they don’t
even suspect it’s a
nudist colony they’ve
been eating marrow
and offal the buzzards
wouldn’t touch and
like I say 250,000 years
of this sort of
none-you-can-eat
and our monkey-ape-woman
unblinkingly dumbfounded
is literally found dumb
all her days a life
so difficult and brutal
she would sing opera
if she suddenly saw
an organic
farm in action
but no she’s quiet
except for gutterality
until a moment arrives
her brain flexes out just
one more cubic millimeter
and her surprise her
joy perhaps a chord in
her throat like a
straining stringed guitar
the three come to
geth er joy vocality a
brain and she is
opening her mouth
this is it there’s
a monkey-ape-man
right there within
earshot she looks right
at him it comes
THE FIRST WORD
ever born ever,
“we,”
she
says
and feels it the
inclusive the love
she has for this
monkey-man
“we,” exclusive of
the mutilated Ibyx
watching wild-eyed
THE FIRST WORD
its corpse slightly
decomposed “we,”
just the two of them
they’ve walked
thousands of trails
fought off a leopard-thing
near drowned
starved had
children together
and “we,” comes
at last makes
sense precludes
everything every
thing even Shakespeare
follows this monkey-
ape-woman’s “we,”
THE FIRST WORD
so stunning so correctly
does it grasp their lives
it explodes in the head
the mind of monkey-ape-man
the power of this
FIRSTNESS his
mind racing she
looks at him he
at her she sees
he gets it something
in his eyes she
sees his mouth move
the lips seem to kiss
he’s going to try it
the wheel is rolling
he inhales yes
there’s sound it’s
“me,”

oh.
he’s not
quite there.

but they’ve so much time
he’ll work it out
it’s not so far removed
how long could it take?
how long?

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