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Tiana Nobile

Floundering

 

In the ocean of my memory I forgot

how to swim. Starfish barnacles suction

to my eyes, my mouth a bent seashell.

 

Hold me up to your ear and listen

to the muffled song of unsent loveletters,

stifled melodies trapped inside envelopes.

 

I told you I wouldn’t do a lot of the things

I’ve done, but the past is a hallway

without wallpaper leading

 

to a room full of mirrors

that curve and contort like the fire

of a liar’s tongue.  The jukebox’s

 

repertoire consists of the songs

of ex-lovers, heavy beats that perch

on your shoulders like wilting flowers.

 

In an amphitheater the size of my wildest

nightmare, I take the stage,

a marionette without a mask

 

but wrists raised with rope and string.

My knees are sharp crooked crescents.

I bend like a rubber band

 

when the ground begins to shake.

I’ll break loose of this redeyed hurricane

before the flood breaks in.

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