One Word

There is only one word.

It begins in astonishment at the back of your throat and ends in breathless pressed lips, closed eyes;

A single syllable containing every sound in the alphabet, every language from infancy till death;

The lover’s sigh, uncertain laughter, the stunned gargle of soldier’s blood.

All other words are echoes, reverberating in canyons of silence.

If you would be a poet, keep trying to pronounce it, even if it kills you.

Be like a thief fleeing from the royal garden, attempting to breathe through a mouth stuffed with stolen figs.

Even if the King himself runs after you, shouting, "Wait, you're welcome here, our fruit is yours!" –

Keep fleeing into the wilderness, until you can sing the Beloved’s name.

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