this was years ago.
the first time I told them about it.

sitting on the edge of the bay
on a borrowed blanket,
I was vomiting up
an Everclear Slurpee
and peeling back the bottom
of your parent’s quilt realizing
I had covered the entrance of the
ghost crab’s home.
I was embroiled in my own
deafening philosophy
about the closing of the day;
the way it moved–
like an itinerant wave
that followed me
and only me,
I coughed that up second,
and finally to tell you
the rituals were there to
keep me safe.

the tide crept back
and I heard you light a cigarette,
felt myself starting to drown again
and then your hand on my thigh
and then nothing at all.
pain subsides in very
miniscule amounts
of time
if  you don’t
repeat the

(do not repeat the story)

but I’m
witnessing plane crashes
and matching the numbers to the proper
order, reorganizing mantles
and bleaching my teeth and
every inch of my house.
first, you have to feel safe.
I begin to build the glass
around me
and turning to you again, I
implore you to pick a title and
stick with it.   for me, I say:
do you like warnings or do you
like to drown?

I think at some point
you have earned the right to say
I know already because you lived it
without acquiescing to
authority so I asked
to see it first:
the river’s mouth,
even though they said
I’d never make it.
I never said I didn’t
deserve it
just that I could outrun it
if they gave it.


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