i wouldn’t give anything to go back

bee lb  


but i would give most things. there were three
years i forgot without trying. some thin haze laid over
the past. i pulled it off, let curiosity part my lips, and now
i know what it means to remember what was better off forgotten.
some doors, once opened, can never be closed again.
some doors stick in the jamb, hoping their desire to stay shut
will be seen. my body is the sharp angle the door makes in its home against the hinge.
my body is a mouth knowing only refusal.
my no’s stack silent in the house of memory.
ring my own ears when no one else will listen.
now that i remember i can’t ever go back. refused memory’s attempt
at protection and now lay at the feet of my own mind, begging.
at thirteen, my body was a home for something. too young to know
that it knew how to contain a life. now, even my own life
tries to escape my body. though that was true before as well.
my hands carve an ending into a wall of salt. the tips of each finger brine.
my nails scrape until they reach sediment. i beg the water to cleanse my body
but refuse to get wet. i am my own baptismal flood, make my own salt water,
leak my way toward forgiveness’ erosion. my first baptism was in a cavity
the size of a coffin. every following absolution has been given by my own hands,
body-made water, salt, skin and its eroded faultlines. ten years between two
purifications and now i am saving myself endlessly. dousing my head beneath water,
learning how to breathe without breath. when i was young enough to see
fins in place of flesh, chlorine stung my eyes, and now i go months
without crying. produce more salt with sweat, my body a feast
laid out for anyone wanting.
once, i made my body a cave. hid in the dark of myself, startled at my own shadow.
pressed my palms against the walls of myself, hoping to leave a mark. a trace
of life. a reminder that this body is a cave is a home is my own.
then, i forgot. lit a fire inside myself, hoping to see something new.

 Author Bio 

BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have been published in FOLIO, Roanoke Review, Figure 1, and The Offing, among others. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories. their portfolio can be found at twinbrights.carrd.co