It’s easy to forget the pinprick of broken glass
and how smoothly it cuts open your fingertips.
It’s easy to forget your shortness of breath
and how your attention is pulled like elk
in the mouths of lean, slender wolves.
But there is a certain violence of memory
as it crashes through your bedroom door —
echoing your name —
when you work up the nerve to look
it straight in the eye to see it
And you see yourself
in the reflection of its eye.
and tear like
as you’re propelled backwards
into what you know —
into what you can never know.
You accelerate in reverse,
colliding into yourself (but not yourself)
over and over, each time losing definition,
gaining mass, moving faster, turning slower.
It’s easy to forget how smoothly the past can cut,
despite it leaving pieces of itself embedded
under your flesh to be dug out later with tweezers,
your hand deceptively steady.