Crayons

by tobias crabtree

There’s these certain things that you’re not allowed to like and say you like, I guess it’s more common if you’re a dude. I am one. So you’re not really supposed to say that you love butterflies, because that infers that you might be a little un-dudely. But I do, I love butterflies. I could give you reasons but the ones who would listen already know the reasons and the others are already set with what they think. It’s weird how much power there is in words. There are words with so much heavy meaning behind them that people in power treat them like a plague. No matter what, words are only words. But still, I am moved and inspired and depressed by these little sounds that come from our mouths. These flicks of the tongue that send thoughts, one to the other. They are description of our thoughts. They are a reflection of our soul. They are shallow and thoughtless. They are deep, sweet and soulful. They are the fuck you’s and the love you’s. They are the little things my Mama sends me through text that make me hold my breath and remember that most likely, she will be gone before I am gone and that I will have to find a way to be here without her. Words are written in holy script. Words are what people in masks say before they cut other peoples’ heads off. Words are letters put together in some kind of order so that they make sense, but so often they don’t. And then there’s a Mary Oliver, who writes about flying geese in the winter and about blackwater rivers and seashores and shells. And then there’s Brian Doyle who writes about hummingbirds and whales and the hearts that compose them and so I read those words to my sister when she was in a coma and her one eye was slightly open and it was green and searching back and forth and from that eye and the other one that was closed there were tears and I was wearing my favorite orange shirt and, a long time later when she was back in her beautiful form, she said, “and you read some words to me about hummingbirds and whales and you were in that ratty old orange shirt.” So words are something,  if they weren’t I guess I’d be doing something else right now. Instead I’m here and the train is blowing it’s whistle right now and the ringing in my ears is filling the spaces. These are words. They are the crayons of my lumbering mind. I am thick-fingered and slow, but life is wild and lovely so I will color and color and never stay within the lines.