For J.D., S.S., & H.K.
I follow the needlepoint
from your wrist to the
elbow
embroidery of
a memory quilt meant to
tell the stories you need
me or someone to trace
the lines of
this patchwork
too primal for words
pieces
sewn crooked that hurt when
they play in the red room of
remembrances
you hear the
reel wind up but can’t look
away
screens on every side
like there never was anywhere
to hide
hostage cries that
paralyze sleep
and tear your heart satin
tatters ragged as if this
moment was as actual
as the first time his hands
on your body made it factual
that unwanted education of what
torn seams seems like each
thrust a ramming rod stuffed
your tenderness farther out of
reach
child eyes sunken in salt
sea beyond recovery they are
treasure jars in the backyard of
your young self buried for safe-
keeping
and your aged fractured hands
cant’ remember where to find her.
So you send search parties
re-tracing steps through pried-
loose flesh
it’s a labor of love
to find what was erased like
maybe
when the sutures in
circumlocution
unwind the missteps
that brought you here
maybe when Novocain nerves
don’t need open wounds to
breathe easy
maybe once these highways
stop stretching towards sunsets
like a second death
you won’t need to
forge these rapids of blood
to silence the needle
of broken records.