somewhere we never see, we grow younger—
minus gray, subtracting added pounds,
sans bones that sound like deer crushing limbs at night.
we watch the seventy sadnesses vanish from our parents’ eyes
as we take back words we spoke, choices made.
crimes erase themselves from our rap sheets.
bad breakups glue new delights between us.
isn’t it nice to rewind the tape, listen
to backmasking set against songs we hold inside?
yesterday, we were innocent. tomorrow,
elsewhere, elsewise, we might be again as, too,
that fired man who gunned down former colleagues
will suck bullets back into his rifle,
resume the original work
he did poorly, sit at his desk & fade
like a cough that becomes another breath.
is author of five books of poetry, most recently Misadventure (Cyberwit, 2020) and I Have Lost the Art of Dreaming It So (Unsolicited Press, 2018), as well as two novels, including States of Mercy (Alien Buddha Press, 2019). His writing appears in Rattle, Notre Dame Review, The Laurel Review, River Styx, Rhino, North Dakota Quarterly, and numerous other journals. He received a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts and spent five years in a West Virginia prison. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.