What I won’t tell you is how I became a flute
and brushed against lips but there was no music.
When the blows came furious as juniper.
There were days when I was a parachute
and the wind was free but kind. I won’t lie
and say there were no such days. There were days
when I curled into hailstone and pretended
it was only breezing outside. Another man’s music.
Eventually the need to unfurl overcame the need
to stay anchored. Tsunami greeted me in its maw.
I have his smell all about me but it dwindles every day.
What I won’t tell you is how I escaped. One day
I met a map at a bar. It pointed to a gash on its head
and said I could get there by becoming someone else.
Most of me was still scrawled on a carpet under a belt.
What was there to lose that I hadn’t already lost?
Alone, in the middle of the night, the road smelled
like freshly sawed mesquite. I wormed my way out.
A buckle still loomed in the background.
And I told myself, there is no gleam.
Ship of Theseus
The other day I realized I wasn’t me.
The me I was when I was
a cloud’s infinite possible shapes.
A Ship of Theseus: the original ship,
stored in a museum, slowly rots away
and its parts are gradually replaced.
Eventually none of the original parts remains.
Is it still the same ship? I think of how weak
my hands were in the music library
listening to Berlioz. How rough they are
washing my daughter’s bottles.
My eyes are a different mood.
I have been repurposed to live for someone else.
In a nearby warehouse, the original ship parts
are stored and re-pieced into a corpse.
Which is the ship? Neither, knowing real things,
like music, take no body.
One or the other if conflict is psalm.
Both, with the same aim of survival.
Both, with loss as the same mother.