A centerline

I am a precarious mammal,
Born warm and trusting,
Eyes wide, heart open
Voice responding,
Limbs reaching,
My stretched vertebrae receiving
signals from the blinking
maze of my brain.

Years, months, days, pain
can surprise can
short out so
many circuits,
can create spaces,
can make gaps between bones,
can switch the current of messages
sent through the cells,
can leave sharp flashes of
picture memories interrupted,
a viewfinder narrative that
no longer makes sense,
creates longing,
the clicking bleed of nostalgia
from a slideshow mind.

I am building a spine,
because I’ve come to know no answers,
because my voice has only questions,
so many reaching out,
the curve of a structure always threatening
to cave.

So what can I do but build?
A pathway is not enough.
A fusion of the old backbone not tough,
Only a new
shiny spine,
built of metal, built as prime,
Will keep the together together,
To spite any weather,
Something sturdy, something fine
So what can I do?
I am building a spine.

It is words, it is darkness
It is hurt, it is hardness
It is sweetness, it is rot
It is everything I’ve got,
It is mercy, it is cursing
It is clay, it is twine
It is steel, it is brine
It is worry, it is time
It is whole, it is mine.

I am a melancholy mammal,
Afraid of dying on the line,
No longer hoping for signs,
Adept at adaptation,
Regeneration redefined.

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