I went to sleep in my bed and woke up in my basement

When you were a baby

And They saw you 

And They birthed you, They bore you 

They handed you to Mother 

She dressed you and bathed you, 

She taught you

Mirrored fingers cast back your large, sleepless eyes 

She cradled you for the first of many times 

The finite twists in your cloth-wrapped torso 

Your wrists stuck clamped and birling out 

Your self unravels as twirling paper strips 

Your childhood home 

Now a map and a blueprint

Of crooked door frames and diagonal notches 

Taken out of stair steps 

In years or inches 

Solid wax on the table

The belching plumbing 

That climbs up the walls 

The sharp corner that punctured the soft part of your skull 

The first time you fell from a tree that’s as old as I am

And a moth swept past you

Owl-like eyes on its wings 

Large— like dinnerplates

The memory of which will flash like a bulb 

Like the first time you cried alone 

And how you could recount in detail 

Your heart, a rising plane engine 

And buzzing of blood that pools in the hollow drum 

Of your ears 

Your eyes, 

Bagged in plastic 

And projecting foreign pictures

You clasped your knees to your chest 

To keep the cage from bursting open 

To keep it spewing out as a faulty faucet 

While light glowed through the tiny gaps in your fingers 

Locked and barred like dog teeth to signal

That time 

is passing 

You swallowed that pain like the rising vomit

In the bathroom cubicle of your primary school 

And the loneliness dampened your bedroom floor 

Spun you drunk 

Took you up like a tongue

Lifted your sailless boat of a bed and stole you

While a flurry of moths spattered at the window 

Like tossed rocks of future lovers (all of which you’d never let touch you) 

Bumbling for the opening 

Your head on the sodden sponge of your pillow

While you cradled your stony body in

They scooped; kissed the candle, lit on your desk

Desperately scorched their furs and their fans 

Fell to the floor, weighed down by the flames

Their impulse was a tinder sparking 

On a child’s tight fist of damp moss in the forest 

When you were a baby

And They saw you 

And They birthed you, They bore you 

They handed you to Mother 

She dressed you, bathed you, 

She taught you

Mirrored fingers cast back your large, sleepless eyes 

As she cradled you for a finite time

Whatever I decide

White wing moths crash at the windshime

One day I will choose to be alive 

As the last paper thread lets go of my fingertip

I fall through the bed

Sink in like the rot

Bend through the floor

Stream and split through the prism 

I know these things come back in other forms 

ORIGINALLY titled: “extermination”, then “go away/ don’t leave me alone”, then “uroboros”, “Time loops” and “death drive” until finally settling on this haha. I’ve been MIA because I’ve been kind of sick, but I’m okay. Maybe I can get back to writing soon, when my life feels more stable and normal  ❧

Photo by Hayley Maxwell on Unsplash

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