Past


Your past has the power
to slam eyelids like iron shutters,
holding you hard and breathless
in the grille of your ribs, where kicks
caught the short draw of your breath.

Then your skin is sticking plaster,
and the bruises, luminous,
fade like a blush:
and are wounds without scars
and stow themselves under the heart.

Your past is fantastic, an uncle
winking like mad in a photo,
safe as the houses you sold:
then someone knocks
and the strangers remind you -

of the past, of that wonder,
when you beat on the window,
greeting, when you beckoned
your pain, on your own threshold,
and embraced it, agape.

From Looks Familiar

for Beverly