Your memory is raw silk, soy milk, still. With nubs like nails, it rubs. Hard—that one spot in my crooked elbow. With teeth like a saw.

It halts something once just hindered by bated breath, now folding, frail. You are flailing like the vulture who mouths loss on the hesitant yellow line, center of two paths. Fork in the Frost. Speed surrounds me.

You are: Once. Twice. Trip. Always a part of this system: missed. A limb, ghostly; a grave, hanging. Listen to my stem cells! Hasten/ Build again/ Create/ Renew you (haiku).

I can’t object to such a touchy subject. It’s just that you used to touch—me. And where you, sweet sea, wave, I drown without benefit of buoy to place me. Erase me. Because there’s no sound.

I’ve been around the block, boardwalk, cotton in ears. Have tiptoed on sidewalks. Cracks. Back then, I sopped what salt I could. Sipped tears through straws. Dodged see gulls. Bombed. Sang estranged gospel songs (goodbyes). Struggled with, then gave in, to sighs.

There is no high after this. No telephone line on which to spy a future. No tire marks to guide. I am flat.

Brittany Fonte, MFA, is the author of two books, Buddha in My Belly, a prose poetry collection, and Fighting Gravity, a teen fiction book. She is also co-editor of the new queer poetry anthology Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Queer Anthology of Spoken Word and Poetry.

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