i’m not a big believer in zodiacs, but i’m an earth sign,
so i like digging up fossils; i’m an archaeologist
of myself, and other dead things. you don’t like it
when i talk like this, but you know i prefer shakespeare’s tragedies,
the kiss of a blade, heartbreak and falling apart quietly;
yesterday i told you “dying gives us size.”
if i peel back
the newspaper skin of my house, it will crinkle,
its careful origami folds smudge into something crumpled-up,
something that belongs with milk packets and banana peels
in the bin; i’ll have to root through the world
to hunt for half-erased ghosts.
sometimes i balance my tears on the edge of my fingernails,
trembling softly, bubbles of blistered despair that
catch on broken skin and collapse onto the plateau
of my lined palms. hands make good landscapes
for playing god and good instruments for casting shadows
against the wall.
there are versions of myself i can’t remember
and versions that i can’t ever forget
because time is water soluble, and my mother didn’t like them;
i’m difficult to like, because i’m trying very hard to grow
thorns and it itches, like ghosts or the unmarked graves
of these silenced selves.
if you’re supposed to build things on solid foundations
why are we born as babies, fragile and in love
with every new thing that makes a sound? i’m an earth sign,
i want to dig into my skeleton, rattle its bones,
and unbury myself, pick off the stone memorial
from myself, and leave flowers.