As always
I come back to the top as I,
inexorably waning, retreat
to that first memory, that brief narcotic —
that first hard trauma, not of the hand
or the whip, not of the harsh word
or the near drowning, but
the sudden and full consideration
as if fully formed, me, jaw to the floor,
mesmerized by the grinding tip,
the arc of travail, the hum —
and soon aware, so loosely and soon
acute, of the petty frictions that topple
all things, even this plaything, this
bauble, plump and inconsequential,
so mathematically inclined. I ask myself,
as always, what were we before we
conjured ourselves into selfhood, before
we, new to our feet wobbled in the living—
room with our tirades, before we, shrieking
before we, before we, spindled between
finger and thumb, spun off from that first
memory still gyred on the floorboards.

Image: Ash from Modern Afflatus on Unsplash

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