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From The Start

The day I was born I fought back.

Crammed up as high as I could go with my back against the light.

I wonder if I knew then.

But in the world came to collect me, metal on flesh

And they pulled me out in spite of myself.

My mother tells me that I refused to open my eyes for weeks.

I just kept my face and my fists scrunched up, blocking out the glare.

I wonder if I knew then...

that as soon as I let the world in,

it would start the gruesome work of dissembling me.

Putting me back together in its own disfigured image.

And it would be years before the hard work of undoing would begin.

And here I am decades later, hands deep within the chest cavity of my own life.

Carefully separating the bits of glass and rust from the meat and spirit

Thawing and clawing and trying their best to flow like a river after a rainstorm.

© Elizabeth McLaughlin | May 3, 2018


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