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Megan Gannon – Ⅳ





Go back before the body you lay down beside the man who borrows your breath at night and leaves you, you want to say, breathless, before the dream of falling, drowning, drifting, dream of your life as you‘ve lived it.  Before the daily dirtying of teaspoons and flickered windows, the pages turned over murmured words you’ve tried so hard to inherit.  Before the scent of other bodies on you, sour milk of children, curdled seed of men, before the scent of countries, palm oil and dried fish and dusty huts, tang of soy and seaweed, dream of a whole world impossible to wash from split, tender heels.   Before the man with the scars and still sparse hair who reached across your cup of green tea, pressed the enameled pin into your palm and said, here, it is yours, we used to wear it when we had radiation sickness.  Go back, you remember, the way is open, though memory has not fastened its teeth to the day you turned from the garden to look down the hill you’d looked down every summer so far and thought, it turns, the road turns, and goes.  Go, though now you start to borrow other’s memories, back to red striped wallpaper stretching floor to ceiling, like vocal chords screaming at the door to be let loose.  Going back, the beginning’s always stitched with other stories, and yours is no beginning but one sentence no one writes in the book of a nation making decisions to drop light, devouring light on a city, searing one hand permanent against stone, to pack souls like spices in crates over oceans, or send shuttles to the bright, pocked surface of night‘s eye.  Keep going, you cannot claim a clean beginning anymore than you can say how far back your life is tied to, how far back you want to stop and start the story.