by Madeleine Murphy

I spent autumn 
with call numbers,
falling in love with spines 
I could not possess,
misplacing could-have-been
Winter was sneaking
obvious glances at my chest,
test answers, 
anywhere but my mind.
Forgotten, for me.
When the act was quite,
the sting real,
the pain perceived,
nomenclature was elusive,
never touching throat,
foreign to esophagus and
naïve vocal chords,
(I’m scrubbing the graffiti,
fresco on my skin)
preferring to stagnate 
with you in my gut.
Panicking deep 
in a sea of shale,
learning to loosen fingers 
in more ways than one,
I envy your coordinates 
on the topography 
of my mind. 
I’ll spend summer, 
like cash,
in holy reverence 
of things I don’t remember.

Originally published in The George Street Carnival (May 2016).

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