A Poem Written 12 Years Ago Today

March 5, 2000

Barely breathing.
Rude. Loud. voices below– bellowing–

700 times down this trip before–
Different Destination.
Same Damn Thing.
But I’ve changed my name, or my
Or maybe it’s the spilled coffee that did it.
Or maybe I’m the power &
Louder & Closer & Further
From the Depot or the outlet or the end.

700 times down this hill before.
Different form of
Will the spot we end up put us right where we were–
with the nets and the bats and the
or will this road go somewhere
where the orange and the blue and the hues don’t
to brown.

She said that.

Not quite that way, but that’s what she meant and

700 times down this river before. but maybe
oh maybe
I won’t be swallowed up.
Maybe I’ll be followed and hallowed like
or Buddha or…
Maybe there are just too many of us–
fighting & Biting & Groping & Hoping for
or a Chance.

700 times up this WALL before.
but Maybe, just Maybe
this time’s Different from the last
or the first
or the worst
in a group of contestants and I
At least I never meant to– but there I go with the
Banner and the Crown.

Keep it together. Keep It together.

700 times in this boat before–
or was it smaller then, with more
and more tolls and more reasons to stay
Instead I’m battling and paddling as hard as I can…
till the blood

And the moths cover the lights every summer no matter what You do.

700 Miles and 2 left to go. Could be 3, could be more.
When I get there should I
keep. on. driving?
Or do I stop and get out-
stretch my legs and my
Cut your gift or just sit — on the grass. This place.
So familiar, but I always go back. to the moment,
or the house, or to you.

700 times in this spot before… perched precariously on the ledge.
The sign says “no jumping” but look at those
down below.

700 times up this tree before
like a
A Cat whose just waiting to be saved, then scratches and bites at its savior…
It’s like being afraid of the Dentist even though you know it won’t hurt…
or at least it won’t hurt

700 times in this swing before–
going back and forth between lives–
But i start to think I’ve been chained to this swing,
Nailed to its Cross Braces,
Glued to its seat.
Believing when hearing, “You’re much too important to come down off that swing, much too valuable to be walking!” or
running or driving or rising
this ridiculous playground.

700 times on this roof before
shouting Nonsense to those below.
Screaming swear words and trying to Sing… like
but the Holliday’s aren’t here. It’s not time for
breaking out the silver and the

700 times at this fork in the road.
or was it a knife?
Because that’s what it felt like when it happened.
The Pain of Decision or In-Decision.

And still they INSIST on making all that noise outside.

700 times in this skin before–
But it’s tougher and rougher and
than before. Or at least more determined to
Push off these shores and find more.

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