strange turns

The past few days I’ve been looking in the wrong columns thinking they are the right. I’ve been making friends with cough syrup to help me sleep but I’m not dreaming and so I’m living in dreaming instead. My poems are taking strange turns into places I’d never thought they would or could go. They are becoming dreams and places to hide truth that no one else can see. A protection of the muses sort of thing. I’m sure no one will understand them except me, but I don’t care.

I keep peeling back layers on my fingernails and I’m not sure why they are chipping they way they are. They’ve never done this before. Perhaps I’m lacking something, a strength I once had before.

Get your breasts checked my old writing teacher said. Even when there is no lump there can be lumps and cancer in the lumps. She’s not sure what stage she’s at. Do any of us really? But she wants to and will find out soon so she knows what she’s up against. Face your strongest point to danger.

I bought Anne Sexton’s life work over the weekend. One book about 2.5 inches thick. It’s her life in 2.5 inches. Will mine be thicker or skinnier? All the confessional poets seem to commit suicide. Are our truths really that damaging as women? I hope to find that they’re not. That damage can always be built back, woven back, tucked back into something warm.

“It is the courage to make a clean breast of it in face of every question.” letter of Schopenhauer to Goethe, 1815.

Even with cancer when they cut away the meat on our chests, is it not the courage to make a clean breast of it?

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