how many words are in your lexicon.

for  s.



She told me lovely. I mentioned exist. Another reminded me human. That one deep into Brooklyn said collarbones. He said sad, but clarified more of an exude than a vocalization.

How many words exist (see?) in my throat or lay dormant on my tongue (another one!) until another sits beside me to hear my sounds.

What decides the cut? Is it the music that occurs when each syllable or accent is accentuated? My least favorite word is wound. Is this because of the “oo” sound? As though something tragic is occurring?

She writes that maybe we can find our way back to each other through language. That when we lose one another, we can travel the roads that lead us back through vocabulary instilled on others. These parts of speech are contagious. And like most communicable diseases, it happens without even realizing when or how or where.

One human (there it is) I fell in love with added a “u” into my words and she gave me an accent, which I still enforce into some of my sentences. Another human introduced wicked, an adjective that made another cringe, so I did my best to drop it.

When I teach writing, I ask my students what makes up their glossary. I write all the accumulated (there goes another) words onto the chalkboard to see if there are any similarities. How many are nouns and are there any verbs? Mostly adjectives. I encourage them to purchase a thesaurus and practice replacing their “go to” words with their similarly defined counterparts.

If we stripped our tongues–like we strip our bodies–of words which weigh us down or define us, what is left. What words are we forgetting when we get lost inside the repetition of vocabulary.

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