A Palimpsest


(with lines from Ada Limón)

Once, I may have believed it possible to repair 
          the errors, push the cart in a different direction, 

revive a sputtering fire. I too have said Lose 
          my number, sadness. Lose my address, my storm 

door, my skull. But then again, who am I of any
          importance in a world burning with war and famine, 

war and decline? As you slept, I pushed my ear up
          against your back to hear the sloshing of your heart

in its bath water. When asked questions, I didn’t necessarily
        have answers. I was only terrified when reminded

it’s nothing short of cowardly to think what we say 
          might not change the course of history. Let me start

over: once, I may have believed in the virtue of return. Once,
         I may have felt ashamed for not knowing my place.

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