Tabula Rasa Then the Rest

The secrets I carry are not my own.

They were glued to my body by my mother

with Rubber Cement glue

to match the cement galoshes

weighing down the body 

as it struggles to tread water in the ocean.

Another wave crests and pushes our face

our head under water.

We spit up

choke on the salt, brine

we need the secrets we carry 

like water in our lungs.

We dunk the body under again

we baptize ourselves in the name of the

sins of the grandfather, father, mother

plunge it deep into the cold water 

over and over 

demand to the heavens 

it be made clean

the way it was in the beginning 

after the afterbirth sliding 

out of my mother’s womb

was hurried away.

Tabula rasa, then the rest. 


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