Every morning a new word escapes me,
its meaning defined only
by the light between morning and now
that sinks down into soil,
boxed and stored in magma
and subterranean channels.
I don’t have the vocal mechanism
to pronounce this word that seems
meant for someone else, and who might not
be human after all, and who would
be condemned for uttering it, perhaps sent
to live in an abandoned steel mill.
I try to shape my tongue to accommodate it
by placing a sugar cube in my mouth,
though no amount can sweeten the losses.
In my backpack, I carry a thesaurus,
looking always for the alternative,
that other word that carries time’s texture,
the slow drift of departure, this light, sprinkled
over the sidewalks of each day, seasoning
meanings that will only unlock
when I’m wide awake and eat my words.