i ran
with these words in my mouth,
but i could never get them out in time.

i ran
into eight dozen faces
plus three,
i tried so hard to get these
words off my tongue,
to find some
ears, because that's all it took,
and the longer these
syllables stayed
the longer my mouth
stayed in the flames.
but those eyes were blank
and those ears were blank
and no one had
any parts to lend.

i ran so hard
past city lights
on sidewalks and cold grass.
the owls called out to me
and i thought they'd listen
to this jumbled nonsense
falling from my tongue
but it was drowned out
by the sound of their heartbeats
and the broken night air.

i ran through the air.
i heard it crying and i thought i could help
i thought i could speak
something gentle
where my tongue failed,
my heart did not
so i wrote it on the winds
but the words blew away
and i ran
wishing i could have done more.

i ran so far,
till i could do no more.
i stopped
in the trees.
it takes no talent
to be breathless,
but i still breathed
every word that i couldn't,
to the trees,
to the one lone leaf
that fell to my chest.
i ran so far
for one leaf.
all my words crashed
onto one precious leaf.

maybe my running was worth it.