rub petals on my shoulders,
jawline. warm,
heather water.
feel their disintegration
in hand and
for the first time,
my fingertips found
utility, want.
feel the lift of the
veil. the word DAD appears
in lavender soap bubbles.
my nails are Easter purple pastel
and I remember the way my dad
said my name as I ran to collect
each plastic egg before anyone.
the child cannot bear to lose.

rubbing roses on the back of
my neck, feel the prick of the nail
cut in half, sharp like
a thorn.
I’d had a vision
of me slicing my fingers off as I chopped
watermelon and hours later, returning
to the yellow plastic cutting board
to clean before the ants found new congress,
I looked down to see the tip gone
from my nail , (look up)
lying upwards on the counter.
had no recollection of the event.

remember my dad saying
slow down    be careful (name)

it’s all one long blur of
portending forethought
mushed by ingested substance.
  indecipherable bursts of running,
planning, writing.
the indelible effects of
surge of memory as you finally
sit. begin to let the chest
rock, cry, and
a daring and
earnest coo when the
boy touches your scalp
for the first time.

“the 8th house of death”

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