Here is another read from Kim Peter Kovac. Elements was first published in the Bookends Review.
We like to think we’re built of major, minor, and trace elements, which use DNA as the recipe to mix and combine in patterns to make blood, bones, organs, skin, and such. Wrong. We are made of words. Words are in us from birth. As we grow, words take on meanings, so they can be combined and recombined in different patterns. Phrases and later sentences lock together, shaping how we move through our lives, more as architecture than language. Some of our words look inward and some outward, and we need a full complement of each. If some inward words are missing, we are incomplete. If some outward words are missing, there are gaps in our connections with others and these gaps are the distances between us. We are made of words, which are the elements of stories. As we learn to combine and recombine more and more words at the same time, they become stories, an infinite number of stories. All of our stories, together, make up the DNA of our culture and consciousness. Our stories ride with us as we walk through our days.