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Father.
Totally out of the blue
Out of the black spaces in between
memory of heartache moments

hope that was terror that was fear

inside of me

Comes your voice, with a warmth or familiarity
That makes me want to
cry confront call out

makeyoupay|hurtyoufirst|runtoyouandfromyou|buildawall

with a rope ladder
and keep a match in my hand.

I pretend that this is normal
That I can talk to you in some normal person way
My heart races.
Mouth dry; cigarette lit
Words fall out of my mouth, stumble over lips.
I'm defensive. We both try to sound soft
Voices grate with the effort.

We spar

Or at least, I do, with myself

Will you? Won't you? Will you won't don't will no won't you will...

I don't. Once it's over, I realize I didn't
But we're on the wire.
So much high voltage emotion is running through me
I feel my seams nearly split.
I'm so afraid. Can't even process all the what ifs.

I will not swallow my pride or principles.

I'm fragile.
Nothing but moth wings in your hand
But I can't have you know this.

Conflicting impulses: vent like an undersea volcano

scar you with steam and magma
or, swim forward like you're an island
collapse salt-caked onto you

How do I take this power away from you?

the meaning from the word
form from function
fear from "father"...

I am proud and wronged and indignant
But like a child fallen down stairs
I want to show you every place you scraped me

Like an architect
I want you to admire the structural soundness
Of the walls I put up against you.

I want to spread out my life before you like
Slow motion footage of a car crash
Where you sent me careening
Every time we intersected.

Betrayal.
Your stories, webs, entangle me
Making you more character than man to me
And I have antagonists. The list is full.

I go to tell you this
the dial tone intercedes
and I can breathe again.

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