An imitation of Betsy Sholl's "Geneaology," written in the Fall of 2010.
The original work can be found here.
What to take back.
One of the boys was a torchlight, the other a Christmas fire.
One was a needle, the other a medication.
In the night I'd wake to a push and the faint
smell of cigarettes.
One of the boys was an inkpen, the other a golden charm.
The letters tattooed on my neck
are for the memory trying to die out.
One of the boys was a housefire already gone out,
the other a safe I carried into the night, convinced of its value.
One of the boys I inhaled, the other I tore my teeth through.
In the summers of my adolesence,
one sang from the inside, one from a page.
Thus, my broken guitar, my dirt-filled case.
One was a clamor, the other a silence.
How they repelled each other.
One was a blueprint, the other a finger-ribbon. I was ashamed
of not building, embarrassed I couldn't remember.
I was a girl calling into the lower woods to a radio signal
I didn't know how to tune into.