December 31, 2008

images (7)I was taking Cass to the airport.
I was driving I-44

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
is thinking

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,

           paralyzed.”

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.

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