On a train I try to place myself. It is two-thousand and eight.
You have just grabbed me by my wrists and thrown me down.
The sidewalk didn’t hurt. No bloody elbow panged. I said please.
I said I did not remember you standing over me gripping my throat.
The One shuttles me up. I, a fool, had smiled to my father, said
I think this is the one. I think this is it. I am a twenty-two heart.
Something below my rib moves me. I believe this is my calling.
The train screeches as I write, Laid down by the rocks, I am told
She loved him very much. To indicate a ribboning voice, italicize.
To emphasize a ribboning point, italicize. When I think devotion—
Andromeda tied to the cliff edge. Perseus never arrives. Soaked arms
Do not destabilize the rock formation. The night after my acceptance
To grad school, I wrote of Andromeda in sweeping verse. Waiting
Is the verb that holds all women upright eight years. The train moves.
In the shower I beat the plaster bloody. I pour whiskey into my open.
I wait. I keep myself small to be thrown from future sedans. I waited.
It is two-thousand nineteen. Andromeda in chains no longer bleeds.
Never one to be interested in the hero’s journey, I bake a cake.
I make a mistake. A blackbird returns to the same patch of straw grass.
It picks and picks and flies away only to return, mechanical, maternal.
In each version, I am myself before you. I have only ever been myself.