Diana Manole

The Metamorphosis of Punctuation Marks” by Diana Manole
from the 2018 Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet

They spell themselves out and I pretend I understand  

comma  

stuffed plump commas slither on our skin 
seeking the best place to come 
to a full stop 

 semicolon  

translucent jade wings ingrained 
in bodies of blackness
future flutters still faulted by default
the course of life is not the course of writing
unless 

 dot dot dot 

commas square the circle
like Lilliputian miracle hands 

 semicolon  

if I were to slice them open 
at the right time 
acid ink would ooze out
dissolving any scab in its way 

 semicolon  

eagerness
eagerness to lose themselves
into the context
vital mostly when absent 
no better than a long-lost lover
an afterthought  

 semicolon  

they have risen indeed
from between the words
like moths shooting for the light
with no memory of the caterpillars
having
to cannibalize themselves 
for the sake of
flying 

 period