Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Perdita

I'm holding her hand, tighter than I realize,
as we serpentine through the crowd,
when I realize that I'm lost.
I know where I'm walking, the benefit
of living in a decade where I am always the
center of every digital map; watching my haloed
triangle, stylized for effect, gliding toward
that red, inverted-drop-shaped destination

Omnia perdita sunt.

I'm disregulated, close my eyes
to oneiric images of my father
dragging me to the bathroom,
stripping off my clothes, yelling.
Hot tears dissolve in the steam-filled
shower, as I shit myself.
His breath spews forth like lava,
molten magma, scarring my body,
callousing my ten-year-old skin.

In extremis: my memory fades to black.

We've crossed the street, skipping across each
crosswalk stripe, arriving at the park.
My son's run off ahead, fearless and rugged:
Appaloosas galloping in the still-warm dusk.
I hesitate before letting go of her hand,
quickly desperate to never let go of her hand.
We walk toward the swing-set.

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