A New Year, Like Folded Paper

I’ll fold up the year like a piece of paper

and all the words written in them will fall out at the sides

and I’d have to pick them up one by one

and put them on something blank in a different order

because there’s no point, really, in writing those words

all over again when the year turns.

 

Some phrases I won’t be needing anymore

and some I’ll be using again and again

and maybe it would be directed to someone else

or, knowing me, it would be aimed at the very same person

with the hopes that it would lead to different results.

 

All those words from this year

are the very same words I’ll be using next year

because the language stays the same

it’s the heart that forces out the syllables

that transforms and is reborn.

 

All the fireworks in the sky

and all the dancing and the loud music

and the wine and other spirits that flow

in and out of each of us

stains these papers with the words

that never change but will be used again.

 

That’s all we do to get older, really,

folding pieces of paper filled with words

and we let the words fall out

because we need them to — we need them handy —

and in some box somewhere are these blank pieces of paper

that changes as our minds and hearts change over time

and it is the memory that determines in what order

the words will appear in the leaves, in the sheets,

of folded paper, creased with the force of an ending.

 

I know of endings.

It’s never as binding

because we don’t know how to burn

and our hearts change

but the words always stay the same.

 

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