about the author

xTx is a writer living in Southern California. She has been published in places like PANK, SmokeLong, Monkeybicycle, elimae, > kill author, and DOGZPLOT. She has a free e-book entitled Nobody Trusts a Black Magician available at Nonpress. Her new chapbook He Is Talking to the Fat Lady was released November 15th from Safety Third Enterprises. She says nothing at notimetosayit.com.

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The Word You Are


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I looked up the word I think you are in the dictionary. It was the Internet dictionary and not the one on my desk an arm’s reach away. That would’ve been too easy.

Things are never easy with you.

I typed the word in wrong. I used a U when it should’ve been an A and an I where it should’ve been a Y. It’s one of those ‘hard words,’ as I call them, something used by fancy pants writers or in books that sit long on shelves—Bible thick, pages coarse and swollen with substance. It was a word I’d never heard, never spoke, never thought, until you gave it to me.

I’ve now attached that word to you.

It is such a mountain of a word, and yet, it flows so easily out of my mouth. It uses my lips twice, my tongue once and the hinge of my jaw four times coinciding with each syllable. It feels good to speak this word; it rolls out of my mouth with the satisfaction one gets with the sudden and halting end of a rollercoaster ride rich with the gratitude of survival and the feeling as though you have shared something incredible with everyone yet simultaneously felt only by yourself.

I’d tell you how I whisper it sometimes, the image of your face the backing track, but I won’t. That sounds crazy.

I’m still trying to understand the definition. It’s an adjective. I get that part. There are three different definitions listed. I think I understand the first and third, but the second definition has more ‘hard words’ and I’ll need to look up a few before I can piece together that puzzle. I’m tired now so I won’t. This word is exhausting but in a good way, like how I feel after I go on a long run. I wonder how you came to know it. I thought I was the wordy one. When you used this word, it impressed me.

It means something about being false or fake as it pertains to writing or authorship.

I think.

I looked up this word so I could try to understand it. I thought if I could learn it, I could speak it inside of a conversation. I thought I’d like to use it with others so maybe they’d think I was smart, or perhaps smarter than they thought. But now that the knowledge of its meaning is almost secure in my mind, I realize I don’t want to. The word is you. Not the meaning, not the definition, the word itself. I want to keep it for myself. I do not want to give it away like pennies, common and for everyone. I want to write it into my stories, secret messages of you. I want to keep whispering it when alone, because every time I do, it brings your face. I imagine your mouth saying it and I watch as your lips, tongue and jaw breathe it life as you give it to me all over again; the word is you.

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