I'm From Before

I am from the smell of a hot-glue gun
three minutes past midnight. 
I am from my mother's white-bitten lip
as she holds my hand in the back of the ambulance.
I am from the stench of disappointment like rotting blackberries,
seldom seen but always present somewhere.
I am from bloodied sheets that still reek of bleach,
from memories i so desperately wish to erase from my mind.

I am from the gunman
in the fruit aisle of Trader Joe's
he stares through my body.  I'm five years old...
...and later I will find myself wishing for this nightmare
to come again,
this time with a twitch of his finger
and finally I will witness the end of all I've ever known.

I am from the IV insert that I kept in my arm, in secret,
three days longer than I should have. 
I am from wearing that and the scars that line my legs like badges of honor
the Mental Illness ID card I carry around in my back pocket
and admire when no one's around. 
I am from the question.
How are we supposed to recover when we live like this?

I am from mounds of sand on the field.  we spent weeks on them
I'm from simpler times
when I lived unaware of the rules that would one day
build walls around me.

I am from Wisconsin sunsets, from nine-PM fireflies. 
They glow just for a moment before they flicker out.
I am from the color yellow,
from making light out of darkness,
from the West Seattle Zipline,
from carved pumpkins on Halloween.  There's a reason people say sunshine all the time makes a desert.

And finally,
somehow,
I'm from Home.  From Before.
I'm from a million ways to say "I love you."
From Goodnight, Moon,
from chipped paint above the stovetop
where we used to make hot chocolate.
I'm from years past, from long before men would count the lacerations on my forearms in the bathroom of a public library. 
I'm from Home,
I am from Before,
and I will be back.






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