Better Left Unsaid

A sentence is an evil, uncanny thing
When thrown out to the eerie, lion like
Listening ears of anyone around to hear.
In saying such things we cast irreversible spells.
A sentence said divides the world
Between the now and the then,
And soon we find that words so spoken
Can’t be retrospectively withheld.

Does anyone feel the pressure of this?
Surely we’ve all had that moment – 
Some unworldly, unplanned and snide
Solipsism slips past your lips,
And suddenly you’d give the entire world
(And everything else) 
To bite it back between your teeth, 
Chew the idiocy out of it,
And gulp it all down
So you alone can sit in its discomfit.

Maybe Babbage had it right,
And the air is nothing but a library archive
Of every word ever spoken,
With all mistakes dried out and
Preserved in an incorporeal, airy tome.
If so, please point me down to
The shelves that hold all my misplaced words
In their horrendous unintendedness.

They’ll be hard ones to miss – 
Packed as they are to the seams
And groaning (if air could only groan).
I’m not one given to defacing sacred spaces
But if it’s a choice between my horrid mistakes’
Face and self-preservation, I’ll save my own.
We’ll make a bonfire of it: Alexandria 2.0.

And that shouldn’t be hard,
‘Cos as you can see
If it comes from me
It’s hot air already.

Artwork by Helena Edwardson.

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