Words on Paper

Sometimes the words on paper are music
Waiting to be sung
To be made meaningful

They’ll recall it
In a classroom,
“His transformative work”
At a wine and cheese,
“Yes, very inspiring stuff”
On a date with an enthusiast,
“It was just so, you know, meaningful”

Sometimes the words on paper are a sand sculpture
Sea monsters
The works.

You see it and think
“I wish I could do that”
Even though the guy was out there for hours
And in a minute a wave will destroy it forever.
You can’t even spare him a nickel
Even though he spared you a picture
With the product of his labor
His fleeting, ephemeral, forgettable labor.

Sometimes the words on paper are caterpillars
You forget why you were even looking at them

Sometimes you read the words on paper,
One, two, ten, pages at a time
And you have no idea what you’ve just read.

That’s okay.
Don’t bother rereading, nothing will have changed.
They are just words on paper, after all.

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