the word peddler

“Would you like to buy some snake oil?”

I inquire, grasping at a world
held three inches from my face
on a string, like a toddler
choking, always choking
on some giant, inky juggernaut
meant to be human

I never read my words correctly
or spew them out the same way
instead they superimpose as gradient,
crawl from my feet to throat
like spidery, gauzy nothings.

and I want to scoop them up
wear them like talismans,
scatter them across my skin
and feel their darts of truth
in unknown places

wishing for the willowy legs’ assembly
into sloppy calligraphy
one bold enough to frame caverns
and record the tales of being–

like the homeless man in army clothes
who nestles serenely under trees
and never bothers to beg for money

or the young boy who uproots ants
from sandy hills and burns them
with a magnifying glass, the only way he knows:
slowly, unnecessarily, and relentlessly.

me? I’ll stay broken until I die.
but I refuse to discard those dreams
where I shelf my vanity
and replace stories with purpose

where I swap my eyes with mirrors
and leak out the dirty vapor
until it all vanishes
to a lucid mirage

finally professing
“yes, that is what I meant after all”

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