a list of past lives

i'm harvesting foot prints 
from the mud with a pair of pliers.
my brother was a dinosaur.
likely from the cretaceous. we discuss
what kind of humans the dogs were:
edward lived as a potter by the ocean
& gertrude was a black market trader.
you can tell a lot about 
an animal by watching 
how they fall asleep. my father
paces the living room 
holding a beer like a telephone. 
mom holds a phone like a daughter.
we have nothing to 
prove to each other anymore.
i take the footprints to my room
where i frame & hang them.
call each a "self portrait."
i hope i was a painter once
or at least a sculptor.
a poet is a not-quit artist.
sometimes i believe i could
throw myself off the side 
of a bridge
& possibly fly. was i a pigeon
or a man? once, i jumped
from my bedroom window 
& exploded in a puff of feathers.
i cleaned myself up.
i told no one. it's taboo
to confess you've discovered 
a past self. for instance,
i was kissing a boy
when i divulged "i lived 
as a silk worm." he nodded 
& kept kissing me. i wish he would
tell me his. the footprints 
always evaporate by morning.
someone doesn't want to reveal
where he's been.
i used to go & go & go
& now i just look out the peephole
& dream of a future self
who owns a tiny home 
or who eat whatever licorice 
she dreams of. or, best of all,
maybe a microscopic creature.
a lonely poet. spinning words
in a language only he knows
& then swallowing. 
i am looking forward 
to june but not july. 
soon, i will count the legs
of the sun & the rings around
my father's eyes. 
i ask a mirror
where are we?

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