Punctuation

.
speaker


.
Period—

With this almost inconspicuous dot I wrap things up.
Bring all pleasures to an end. Call it off.
There’s a tiny tidiness to it, but the muscle of
cessation too —It can stop a truck.

Question Mark—

With this sinuous hook I pop a question
whenever I want to reach outside the box I’m in:
Why God, for instance?
Or how come these crows do not give ground
but stand and glare as if they owned this field
of mine and me?
How deeply down are they aware?
How far under do they stare?
How much more of something do they see?

Comma—

With this tadpoled period I may pause a second,
swimming among multitudes noting and naming.

Mesmerized by its breath-taking tail I rest,
then go on expanding and elucidating,
although in this case of hesitating
I’ve nothing more to say and no one’s waiting anyway
except for future anthropologists
nosing round and carbon dating

But wait, there’s more, With comma’s versatility
I may string ten thousand things like beads
listing names of every city in the world, every lover,
their triumphs, dreams and classic poses
or as the evening closes, I may breathe mid-sentence
and signify I’ve thought of something else:
alyssum, phlox, hydrangea, roses

And finally, to show how much you mean to me, my friend,
I’ll set your name apart with two of these for rapt attention
until I’m ended with that dot I mentioned.
.

by Jim Culleny
11/2/13

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