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Dangerous Words by Don Domanski

little by little the thistles suffer on the hill
bare trees enter the river
the wind takes the earth and blows
it drop by drop into your ear

you are ashes mixed with rain and sleep
leaves rustling in a closed hand
a mouse dropped out of a cloud

dangerous words pass under your window
words that no one has ever used before
you follow them into the woods
your find three words building a fire
one word skinning a rabbit
and another word far off in the shadows
pissing on a violet

what do they have for you
these five elves   these little men
this little sentence in the forest?

they have but one knife between them
one hat   one coin   one pot
and a dark bag full of spoons

what good are they to you?
what can they give you
that you don’t already have?

if you touch them
you touch a hanging bell
and a small tongue wakes in the grass
to speak to you   to give you a name
to call you tulip   or pincurl
or doll’s breath

which means you’ll never see
your home again   not your parents
or their love

which means you will always whisper
but never speak
never escape these little men
these words burning their supper   their rabbit-water
in an iron pot.