Up from all fours (ten for today)

January 3, 2017
Peeling back the layers, easy as waxy adhesive pleasingly pulled back from a band-aid strip, you might find underneath

the muffled amniotic sound of my mother’s fear, my father’s absence,

and her mother’s lung cancer, his two pack a day habit, 

her father’s leukemia, his brother’s stomach cancer,

my sister’s jealousy, me, smack dab in the middle, ordered 

induced, long-labored, lost virginity to a lie,

adolescent somnambulant, anesthetized

plucked peak, poised, cut in half, abandoned childhood

love, anger, pain, salty wounds and tears, trials

errors, risks and high cliff jumps, all of it, all of the skin’s striata.

And yet, and yet, still, it’s the new year, and 

I’m dressed in the same uniform, repressed ire,

suppressed desire, tempered expectations, doubt

longing, trust, fomenting flames, and churning torrential inward glances.

I’ve heard my ancestors’ voices mute, in a gesture, a turn,

phrases never uttered, lovingly eked from un-warmed fingers tapping. 

Beneath the eviscerated bowels, below the libido, homonidae snapping heads aside, 

peer over their shoulders, wide-eyed, and slack jawed, unsuspecting 

after all, for who would have known, how could she predict, she just up from all 

fours, awaiting death-birth, a notion less cerebral than pelvic, yet 

surely her demise and liberation? No, her gaze reveals she never conceived, never saw me coming.



The Twin


Many days ahead still 

to break down a body takes time
to break down an image built up 
so long, so many fucking years, 
a plan, a pattern, a steel will and 
hard head, soft with romance, 
adventure and fury, a stubbornness 
fiercer than a mother’s, 
she who endured the beating 
neglect of everyone who ever 
claimed to love her and never stopped 
gaining on them all, earning by degrees 
and respect, even if she came late 
to loving herself.

Many lessons to learn 
how the humbling of a human 
being slow-stodgily sinks in, 
brick by brick pitched at a head, 
to break in the wall of a notion
make it understood that 
leading life in a spin 
loses the ability to take notes, 
to catch up, remember it all 
the test failed, no doubt. 
for it cannot be otherwise 
in learning how to be someone else, 
a someone else, and merge her 
to the pre-existing other.
Impossible to grow two people 
as one dies to feed the other, 
but to kill a person is not easy, 
interminably terminally long,
unlike the beginning, 
life bursting on the scene in violence, 
painfully spasmodic spilling 
into the suffocating air,
and bleeding out 
in infinite incremental specks
unseen, unheard, unrealized
only now and again spying her
a twin, creeping along the fence
in the yard peering out cracks.