Poetry: Signs

I’m completely ambivalent about this poem, which might be appropriate for the subject matter. Or maybe that’s just an excuse.

Signs

How quickly we forget
That all these words are actually tools
That they aren’t the actual thing –
They’re just the thing we have to use.
Just a photo of a painting
Or a picture of a sign
That we’re taking and mistaking
As the thing we had in mind.

At their best, our words are labels
Painting crudely at the world.
At their worst, they are unable
To repeat the things they’ve heard.
Like the agents of a deity
Called upon to make report,
All our words, just like their owners,
Are more deluded than we thought.

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