when she asked me
about what gives me hope.
“Yikes,” I thought.
I had to come up with something quick.
I said, “What gives me hope
about the hope of the slave
that one day may be better than this.”
That was the most tangible hope
I could imagine.
I dropped her off at the Will Roger’s airport
and I quickly sped away before she
could ask any more questions.
Later that afternoon, I found a corner café
in the Paseo District
and I thought about
how I didn’t tell her that over the decades
the verb “to hope”—the theological virtue
defined as the desire and search
for future good—
had become displaced and substituted
for the word numb—from the Old English
past participle of nimen, nomen.
Nomen was used as an adjective,
meaning “deprived of power
of movement, unable to move,
Numb now can be used as a verb,
an action word, and if you think about it,
“How strange is that?”
I sincerely like the word hope,
yet here I am with coffee and with
more to write about the word numb
than I look forward to
on this 31th day of December 2008.
Later that night,
The Flaming Lips played OKC.
And I felt that maybe after
a New Years bash
perhaps there just might be
a chance for hope on Mars.