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Amphibious

By
Skin soft;
I clutch at a hand that is not there anymore
Grey lights drift around my head
In lazy arcs
A narcotic idea of nirvana
Enlightenment is a full cup
Or a pill half swallowed
It is the queer feeling in my chest
That makes me wish I could
Breathe underwater
Sprout gills and live in the backyard pond
Or the bathtub
It is not quite knowing how much time
Has passed
Memories, like persistent buoys
Tug at their chains
Their iron fingers massage my temples
And I remember:
A punctured pool toy, an FM radio, a set of stencils labeled
“mine”
Remnants of a life lived down the street
Friends of a friend
The people who lived three doors away came
That time when you put up a sign
At the corner
And sold half of everything in the garage
Because we wouldn’t need it where we were going
Which was across town
Next to a gas station and a run down church
A playground where we weren’t allowed to go
That was when he lost interest in me
And going outside
He grew older and tired
Watching primetime laughing away the months
As our bikes rusted in someone else’s garage
And our dog drew lazy circles in the carpet
Her tail dragging like a limp glove
I still have her collar
A coiled snake in my desk drawer
I remember crying when you told me
She wasn’t coming home
And I found it funny
That it hurt more than when you told us
He wasn’t coming home
But that time
I cried alone in the backseat
Because by then I had learned that your lap
Holds no comfort
And my tears hold no bearing
At least in terms of dying
And leaving





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