It Isn’t Over Yet

"The past isn't dead. It isn't even in the past." 
-- William Faulkner

The past should go away, but it doesn't.
Even if you try to throw it out
with all my perfect cursive notes 
and the white IKEA furniture. There is still 
the insomnia and a few mottled bruises 
on the inside of your sternum. 
You once told me there was no such thing
as a heartache, so now I feel no obligation
to resolve anything. 

The past should go away, but how can it? 
Once I went hunting for your loneliness,
and I found it,
my round breath sewing loops
right through you.

Everything that happened
is still happening and happening.

The past should go away, but instead 
it waits for you, motionless,
like a flood at the bottom 
of your basement steps.

You. You breathed out like a map.
You said worship; you meant it.

The past is merciless, fills 
every recess of a heart;
fills all the holes in the sky
where there should be stars. 

The past should go away, but it follows you home
like a starving junkyard dog
with something dead in its mouth.
Haunts you. Looks like you:
covered in filth and eating 
from the garbage. You've always
been a sad stray, desperate
for affection or a warm bed to sleep in.

In that case, the past is a chain
for you, dear.
You wear it snug 
around your throat, dear.

See how it covers you like daybreak. 

The past should go away, but it keeps unfolding slowly
like a dense fog falling off the stage.
Or breaks open like a swarm of locusts.

I once let you in. Yes.
To my garden of drowning violas.
Led you, lured you. Halfway.
Left you there alone. Then
just when you began to see a crack of light,
I stepped in your path, 
closed my eyes,
and swung the blunt object.

Your head aching like 
a broken heart.

The past should go away, 
but it won't stop breathing. 
A black assault of wheezes.

The past looks right at you with its eyeless face,
and drags itself across your floor.
Laughs darkly. Rotting wood
where there should be teeth.

You asked why I was crying,
and I said it was because 
I was so happy 
with such conviction
that even I believed it.

The past keeps spinning
on its demon carousel. 

You feel guilty because
you are guilty.

The past should go just away,
but it hangs from the beams
and sleeps upside-down inside of you.
Wakes up and immediately
starts beating all its wings.

Scrapes against the rust on your heart,
and makes a bony sound. 

The past should go away, but it never does.
It isn't over yet.
It's barely even started, dear. 


8 thoughts on “It Isn’t Over Yet

  1. Thank the great imponderable workings of truth for your poetry and for finding it now, right now, when the past would happily discard me in all its recursive infinite-spirals. You write like some kind of genius of the soul. Thank you, ‘J’ for the purest inspiration.

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