The Invention of a Word

by Abner Dormiendo

We will arrive at a conclusion that every word ever said
or written is merely an invention. Aren’t you distraught
with this poem beginning with a conclusion? Let us start over.

If I was Adam, conclusion would be that fleeting moment
when the wind rearranges your hair across your face
and you sweep it off unaided by your hands.

I pity the people who will never even know this thing you do
so I would do the world a favor and invent the word ‘word’
just so I could make sense of these things: your hair, the wind, the sweeping.

This is the function of words: to reduce memories into mere sounds.
If you were Eve, you would probably just make conclusions
in every sense of the word — eating fruits from unnamed trees,

catching winds from unnamed mountains,
shaking off the hair across your face
without the helping grace of your hands.

And at those moments, silence is the word that begets.
Let me define for you silence: the feeling I get
when you make conclusions. Tell me then how poems

are supposed to end — with wind-swept hair, with silence, with an invention.
Perhaps with beginnings. Beginnings are conclusions
with her hair swept across her face, and the most beautiful beginnings

begin with you.

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