When you spend as much time around actors as I do
You almost start to believe in the power of words to move the universe.
Or I do.
Let me speak from my own experience and keep my words out of your mouth.
I almost started to believe in the power of words to move the universe.
Not in the way that I think they meant it, but
In some small and significant way, I’ve always understood the power of language
There are things that have been said to me that I will never in my life forget,
Words that have nestled so far into my heart, my blood, my bones
That they are a part of my DNA.
They say that every seven years or so, every single cell in your body regenerates
And is new again.
And some people find this important and healing,
I have found this important and healing.
I do. I have.
I wonder if in seven years those deeply embedded words will begin also to leave my skin
In a sort of filmy ooze, coming out of my pores like sweat
Like the summer of 2019 when I had just returned from London
And hopped in a car and drove all over, visiting the people and places I had missed.
I sat outside my AirBnb in Salem MA, drenched in my own sweat
And I watched it run sideways off my arm, like rainwater
And I kept a photo for evidence.
All of that water was inside of me, coming to the surface.
So back to words:
I wonder if one day the poisonous words you spat at me, calmly
As if you were spitting sunflower seed shells into the dirt
Will unstick themselves from my soul
And leave my body, like rainwater.
Or if every time I see your face, in ten years, in twenty years, in forty years, tomorrow:
I will think, “You have cursed me. And it lingers still.”
I don’t know the remedy for these types of curses, not the way I can sort of guess at remedies for other things:
I think in order to defeat a curse or a demon, you must first call it out by name.
Excuse me: I’ll remind myself again.
I think in order to defeat my curses or demons, I must first call them out by name.
This is difficult, for some days I can barely remember my own.
And some nights, I stare into the darkness of my room and let the resentment seep into the shadows
And think up at the night sky, “Oh teach me how to curse”
And spit venomed words into the still quiet of my lonely room
Or my frost-cold car.
They say that words have power.
I do believe it.