485 Readings

How to Forget

Ashes are meant for cigarettes,

for doused campfires.

When I can’t remember how I got

to the middle, I start over.


When I walk by the cemetery

I stare straight ahead. Do I have

a pure heart? It doesn’t matter.


My love of opposites got me this far—

clouds and dirt. They both carry the past,

but clouds do it in a way

that makes me want to follow.


Today my favorite words are glove and live. 

Gloves are meant for breathing hands,

for keeping the world at bay. Look at me

on the assembly line, keeping all the parts


straight. The hem of my coat is singed,

but I sing anyway. I haven’t failed at being human,

if being human means breaking

what you mended and mending it again. 


I don’t imagine I’ll be carried up

 into the sky. Someone will walk

over me. On the soles of someone’s sneakers,

I’ll see the world again.  I’ll love it a little harder.

Posted 11/24/14
from my forthcoming chapbook, HOW TO FORGET YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, published by Dancing Girl Press
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