I’d like to get rid of this trauma that I have,

that pulls me under some nights, tightens me up

and causes me to reach for breath

like someone who’s stayed underwater for too long.

Who wants to be around a guy like that?

says a voice inside me, brushing a worry into me

like a shoulder in a dark room.

I’m not sure anyone does, I say back.

But there’s got to be something good about

feeling so down, don’t you think,

something that breaks out of that reenactment

and glistens like a golden egg from an old stone

dropped on the floor of an ancient tomb?

There has to be, otherwise there’d never be

that twenty-four karat feeling of being yourself

to discover.

As a kid I used to sit in an old crate underneath

our mobile home, and in the darkness I’d just

peer over the top of it with this combined look

of anger and shock.

That’s what abandonment looks like.

I still catch myself wearing that look on my face

sometimes when I walk by the mirror,

or when a friend takes a candid and later on

texts it to me.