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Monday, February 15, 2010

The Past is a Whore



The past is a whore insisting you notice her red silk dress.
The past is boring, it’s over now, why come here begging with your empty cup?
The past splashes soot on day dreams, invades with a baby’s lip wet
with milk suckling in sleep. 
The past is leather shoes with golden buckles, one lost in a cotton field, the other
muddied and hidden under my bed.
The past is my mother finding it and not saying a word.
The past is her silence, her leopard skin jumpsuit, her pale hands carrying Valentine’s cupcakes.
The past is a mirror, a pretend lake where we make pretend wishes and believe they’ll come true.
The past is an angry man come to tear my ginger house down, once all the sweet things have been sucked away.
The past is your sister’s curly hair in summer sunlight, her body an arc, diving.
The past is the ripple from the splash you dip your toe in.
The past is not water, the past is not stone, the past is a dirt clod
thrown in a game of war with your brother, your sister.
The past is her brown eyes smiling at you with a headless doll in her hands.
The past is a dog in heat that’s run away, you no longer chase it anymore, though you still throw it a bone now and then.

Photo Credit: Stewart Ferebee, "Hamburg"

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