take it back - first the words,
then keep unraveling the days
take it back, prehistoric, to a time
your emotional range hadn't ratcheted up exponentially.
imagine a time before that
night you missed the 5am greyhound transfer,
and they had fallen asleep, so you were alone, (more)out $80,and
a stranger pity-offered you a blanket, because you were
crying in public on a stained concrete floor.
take it back - further.
your father's open hand sweeping back the way it came
until it disconnects from the side of your head
and your perforated eardrum melds seamless.
your seven-year old self is lighter, floats
in the brine of the sound at
the outer banks, but she still writes wounds down her arms
in a spiral-bound notebook. she has to hide in the bathroom
during lunch - thinks her friends like her least -
learns the word "cunt" from a third-grader
who is caught out for stealing novelty erasers
from dozens of students the following year.
fill the depression of weighty memories on your mind,
run your entire fucking life in reverse, make
teddy baker in the second grade un-say your face is flat
and that's why he doesn't like you. take that away - cut it out ruthlessly.
take out all the ugly. take that out of the narrative.