unexpectedly patronizing the safe haven of an employing
menial job away from my usual world of impotent pledges,
places that belonged to another life, another me, and you say,
“Hey, I remember you. I saw you there…from the court”
Memorizing the cold inside smile like a lightbulb flash, burnt in air,
scalding the fingernail of an infant size will to forgive.
Just pop me back there why don’t you? I’m long sprung now–
for over a year and minding my business, picking up the pieces,
and here you go dragging my ass backwards, sliding me down
there in the dankness and graveyard dreams, the hole of holes.
I could hear my heartbeat in my eyes but somewhere receding
like a mote under the metal mattress of my will to forgive.
I know you were reprieve, a nice girl, honestly asking, earnest,
wanting to be what I was, aspiring while I was spiraling down,
you upward with your youth, all possibility ahead, to recover,
re-coup, pop yourself up from a crack-split of a morning that
caused you to fall, while I was on the downslide, much older
career-weary and worry of the world, on my way out of it.
Crushing reason pounded my back and sides of a silhouette stare
piercing the baton flesh of your powerful thump on my will to forgive.
But I too have regained my step some and gathered my thin-self.
Only you jarred me out of pretending nothing is or ever was wrong
and “I will forge ahead,” make it like it never happened, reinvent
myself, my life, and call it a new beginning replete with hope.
To the place where I first met you and left you in half smiles
on the sooty bench of ash, our smoldering embers of I will forgive.
Until you walked into my store, my place of candy cave-shelter
to kick me in the flashback and remind me that I am still in it.