Syllable

When I was born

My body was torn into words

I didn’t even know to exist

A-r-m

L-e-g

G-i-r-l

I became the

w-e

Before I became the

m-e

We’re a sea of words

That no one can seem to decipher

So we make up child-like definitions

Such as the word “me”...

For the short, white, Jewish girl you see in front of you.

I find it amazing

That the two words in the English language we use the most

To describe personal identity are so short

As if they are a speck in the language and culture itself

 

When I say “I”

It rolls off my tongue quietly, like water in a stream

When I say “group”

It’s quite the mouthful, right?

The “gr” crowds inside the walls of my teeth

The “ou” puffers my cheeks

The “p” purses my lips together, as if my mouth knows

That my life is surrounded by the collective

By the sum

By the “us”.

“I” slips out quietly, as if it wasn’t said at all

“Me” would rather be said quickly, as if the word itself didn’t want to be dwelled on

The word “group” might as well be a sentence

 

I,

Me,

This short, white, Jewish girl you see before you

Is the smallest syllable in the longest word

A word I’d have to tackle face down into the ground to even be able to pronounce

This word that crowds

and surrounds me

and presses me into a tiny speck

This enormous word that could fill up 300 encyclopedias

This word that tries to cut, mold, and drill me

Into it’s perfect, blueprinted, architectural model

Of the person I should be.

But the secret is

That I am a syllable made of diamond

These other syllables, words, and characters

Can feel free to try to

taint me

But I will continue to rotate like the burning ball above us

And just…

s h i n e

Because the secret of the word is

That without my tiny, little scribble of a syllable I am

The biggest word I’ve ever heard wouldn’t make sense

I know you think that’s a lot to say

Coming from just a white, Jewish, short syllable

But what would the word be without the little syllables that make it up?

It would be a blank piece of lined paper

An unfinished, scrapped masterpiece in the making

Yes, some of the syllables the word shares are

ugly, crooked, and twisted

But some of them are

beautiful, eye-opening, and worth being a little syllable for

It’s hard to come to the realization

That everyone here is just a small syllable in the scale of things

But in every small dabble of a syllable

Comes a new, baffling, enchanting word to create.

So you can label me “white”

For the organic pink blush adorned over my legs, arms, and cheeks

And you can define me as “short”

For my wonderful, unique design

And you can define me as “just one person”

Because I know for every one person

 

For every one syllable

 

Comes an intrinsic new word

 

To add to the beautiful list already created

 

That will never be forgotten


 

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741