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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.
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