Bad Words


Brace yourself.

These words might not be

what you wanted.

Fear is a natural response

to a snake,

or a spider,

but these are just transmissions of light,

symbols on a page.

They can’t hurt you

can they?


Can this be a knife

along your skin?

Can you feel

these words

cut deep?

Are they stones

that dash against your skull,

breaking bone

and making

your lights

go out?


These words

aren’t even on a page.

Chances are

you see them on a screen.

Holding it in your hand

and you are now going

to check and see

if there is still

a little bit of blood


under your fingernail.


How did that get there?


The only scary thing

about words

is that they

are now

in your mind.

They were mine

and now,

they are yours.

You are programmable,

and so am I.


Is this the word

that drives you

over the edge.

Have you been barely hanging on?

Is this line

tight around your neck?

Are you feeling

everything getting dim?

These words

only get into your mind

the same way

the light gets in.


Words are only terrifying

when they create

thoughts in our minds,

or take us places

where we find

something we recognize,

something we hide.

Our words are only

physical things

when we let them live

in our skin.

We are the nightmares,

the bad words

are how

bad dreams begin.



HG – 2021

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