At that time, my mind
Spooled like a VHS with
A doppelganger’s touch,
Recordings impressioned
Then rewound, a whirr
With mechanical sounds,
Memory’s teeth trained
To retrieve events
In a gundog’s gums
Without killing the
Limp ingraining grouse.

I could not pause,
I could not alter
What he forced me
To follow, repeat
Prescription pills,
Unanswered calls
And tall orders,
Utility bills and
Daytime shows
I could not stop.
I confess
I’m something
Of a hoarder.

I could not stop, no,
And those who gathered
To watch events unfold
Like Etruscans
Gathered around
Haruspices with
Peacock entrails
And crushed snail
Shells accumulated
Alphabets with
All meanings and
Lexicons and inflections
Lost to the modern reader.

Deathly slow,
I burnt
The tape and now
There is no telling
Of how I lived then
In someone else’s liver.

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