September 16, 2006

what past

would you mind if we talked about the past, you said,
what past i ask,
how far past is this past
for me right here and now,
my past is never, so
what past do you mean I ask?
you say which past do you want?
i want to say:

cracked skies and thunder rage
unaware, unthere, how deep is a need
when a child rips apart her fingers
to remember she's alive and peels
skin off the bottoms of her feet,
shame when she walks.

that past? is this the one?
or the back porch where they slept us
he snuck into sacred folds exposing
my heart, he might as well have, might as well
have slit my tongue, forked, as he skewered me
'never tell.' That past?

Or the other past? The absence of
strong arms to bathe me in safe
smells of tobacco and bar soap,
perfect rings of smoke, magic,
carry all i remember of him
inhale, just, jesus how much is to ask
to have one hand back, a forearm to rub
against, trace his hairs.

what I have lost
what's not there
the screaming of the missing
never quiet, my ears,
fingers still tingle as
skin unravels,
if i could dig in the dirt
claw my way there
dig him up,
that would be something.

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