Saturday, November 14, 2015

the mouth is awkward with the words like a 
first date shifting weight from foot to foot and suddenly aware of hands and
where to put them when they are not digging.
the mouth remembers as if it were wallpapered
in it's childhood bedroom, the mouth practices how to be a survivor 
in the mirror, over and over 
until it starts to feel strong, practices until the tongue grows numb.

talk about the rust-stained stained towels, how they were stiff, how gentle your mother
loaded them into the washing machine, 
how she was reverent
and silent, 
a priest holding a bible, like they were still attached to me.

talk about
the mechanics of destruction, how to snap the plastic back like cracking open a walnut. talk
about the things you have never said, the ones that make it true. 
a hospital room and disrobing arms like unveiling a painting, how the fabric
of sleeves haphazardly pressed had started to heal into you, how the mask had become the face.
tell the story until it feels like a stranger,
tell the story until it feels strong again. 
the mouth forgets it's lines.

the body shakes, 
i lived,
i lived.

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