Anacoloutha


Anacoloutha (an-a-co’-lu-tha): Substituting one word with another whose meaning is very close to the original, but in a non-reciprocal fashion; that is, one could not use the first, original word as a substitute for the second. This is the opposite of acoloutha.


My face, my soul’s mask, blurts out the breaking promise I am about to throw into your life—broken before it is made, in pieces in my heart like shattered ice melting into clear water: a small reservoir of fate spreading its imperial hopelessness throughout my being.

Forever! I promise. Forever to be your bride even as the deadly spores may carry me to eternity’s unimaginable edge, where souls wait at the abyss for permission to cross over to the timeless shelter built of faith and hope.

And now, I know not whether forever is real. And there, my promise to you fractures—like a tree limb in a storm, a piece of China dropped on the floor, a glass of wine to the same fate. Dropped. Shattered.

And why do I make a promise doomed to be broken as it is made? It is born of love and desire. I love you. I desire an infinite future, and since we do not know the future, we are free to wander through it by the light of our own desire, not caring whether it is prompted by truth’s call. So, the promise breaks, as it is founded on imagination claiming to promise something real. But still, I promise. My promise is a compass to navigate the perilous journey presented by the future and the anxiety it drills into our heads.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu).

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