I have qualms. You have qualms. Everyone has qualms. When we look at the word, the letters of the word, we realize that qualm is a word that is illegitimate because it is misunderstood.
If qualm was a real word, it would be like a crusty fungus. It would a hymn sung in Latvian. Qualm would be the clump of grass that gets stuck under your shoe. Or what the friend does who lies and then pretends it was to protect you.
A qualm is a line of verse in a free form poem that does not stand alone. It is an oak barrel used too many times to age wine. It is a mysterious lump on the back of your dog that feels like a tick but isn’t. It’s that slight breath of air from the bathroom when someone didn’t turn the fan on. A qualm is a mathematical term, meaning the flaw in the formula no one wants to recognize.
Have you ever watched a movie, and then forgot the ending? That is a qualm. A qualm is what a dinosaur family unit was called. It is that part of outer space that looks empty, but only because our telescopes aren’t strong enough.
A qualm is a reassurance from a double agent. A qualm is the unit of salt you put on the rim of a Margarita glass. It’s the sum of the ages of all your closest friends.
It is the shape of a lightning bolt, the smell of a firecracker, the velvety touch of the inside of a cat’s ear, an echo in a small room, a bullet meant for someone else.