personal essay poem

Tell me my story

Tell me a
story, they
say (ask plead)
and I am stuck
(trapped stilled
muted) because my
glass (jar urn) is filled
to the brim and should I
open my mouth to sing (cry
laugh lecture babble) I do not know
what else would slip out. It is not hope
that I have locked away and my name is not
Arachne nor am I married but my loom (tongue ink
keyboard) unravels itself faster than I weave, faster
(slower) than I think and I am buying time for conjunctions
or, failing that, waiting for a blade sharp enough to find the edges
I cannot see. I have torn the thread in my teeth, pulled out the seams,
and I have placed a pirate’s patch
over my good eye as I climb in the dark, gripping each step with my toes,
unable to look backwards for fear I’ll never go home again.
I have amalgamated your folklore to my memory.
My metaphors are but dreams, for I write poems in place of dancing,
draft tears to memos, and to the chorus (peanut gallery) only is my rage
exposed. And none of this remains (escapes flees transcends coagulates).
I write that which I do not (remember guess) know and don’t know
what I say nor have said and Sing to me, Muse, sing to me of
the girl I might have been (to be) for I do not know my skin
these days nor even my edges (limits endoskeletal) and I
do not know when my voice and yours diverge
(two roads in a caged bird) and I write about
writing as if conjuring a prophecy and
wonder what happened to the meta
(physical).

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