WORDS

IF WORDS COULD DIE

 
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I had a dream that “synonym” died.

The kind of rolling reverie you have as your body slides toward sleep.

I woke to the thought, “What if words could die?,” feeling the kind of sadness you feel when your dreams reveal the melancholy of your life. 

But synonym didn’t die as much as it fell, or sank, an unfertilized egg dropping from the womb — essential — then useless and no longer welcome. Crestfallen for being only a half-word. The kind of word that knew its limitations. Iterative, derivative, referential…

What if words could die?

Like, what if they hung on just long enough to be necessary and needed but, eventually, everything that was propping them up — and being propped up by them — no longer existed, or mattered, or both.

What if words could die?

Would the shape of them still make a sound if someone was lamenting how much they were missed? Like if someone said, “Remember when people used to say synonym?” though I imagine it would sound much different then because people would be using all sorts of newer, better words to talk to one another.

I wonder if people will still talk to one another?