Sometimes I wonder what keeps me alive. Not blood or organs or whatever biological anatomical sisyphian feats occur just a few inches beneath the skin every day every hour every second. I am not here to wax poetic on my liver, though that could be fine prose in and of itself.

What keeps you alive?

What wound you up and left you ticking?

Not your mother or father, grandmother, grandfather. Unravel the ball of twine and what do you get?

What thread traces down through dusty, crumbling years to curl in the warm, milk sweet hollow at your throat?

Think about the soil you were planted in,

the silt and dirt and stone that kept you alive from the dank earth to now as you arc towards the sun.

Imagine how your ancestor felt when she first laid eyes on what would be the greatest love of her life, the dusky cheek petal lip oil slick hair.

Feel how it changed her, let her exhalation seep into your skin,

for we all carry promises in our lungs.

Don’t just remember the love, let the pain and blood bite at your ankles, scar your back, nip at your wrists. Bleed for crimson that has long soaked into the earth that hardly anyone remembers, bleed for those who time forgot but it doesn’t matter because right now to you they are alive, banging on the walls of your skull, crackling in your joints.

Let it come, let the tide come.


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