Who invented punctuation?
Someone who could not tolerate
the ambiguous teeter between dictate and query
hanging in the air with an upward pitch and a small grin
or the pause that links two observations
putatively unrelated in space and time
someone insensitive to the streams of reminiscences we spontaneously mutter
with peripheral interjections a sigh perhaps a note of sarcasm concern
or the sudden pivots from topic to topic that unveil associations
within our guts
most of us hate punctuation
which is why we discard it the moment we can
or choose one noncommittal mark from the host presented by our keyboard
and use it incessantly like Dickinson
knowing that in the end it will be the whisper behind the text our audience remembers
or the pout we left on our face at the end of our assertion
or the twinkle that passed through our eyes
and not at all what we actually said.
This poem was published in Issue 77 of Offcourse, June 20, 2019.
December 18, 2017