the year i didn't show up in pictures 

not quite a vampire but similarly
echoing. the sound of strawberries
in every room i entered. my heart 
was a thimble of water. twigs came 
to inhabit my bones. i snapped under
each encounter. a mouth. an ankle.
a girl can come to crave decision.
seek it out in the eight-ball eyes 
of older men. his stomach 
full of sand. a girl can become a boy
in the shadows of small town buildings.
the corn falling down before 
a firing squad. i stood & posed
several times. there family pictures 
without me there at all. i am the frame
or maybe the grey background 
where snow leopards drink their own skin.
a flower would knock at my eyelid
& ask, "are you still a body?"
i would roll over. unsure how to answer.
between my legs a poleroid camera emerged.
snapped photographs out my window
which spilled on the floor. 
shamefully, i collected them 
like leaves. invented a coffin 
for them to sleep in. refused
to give them a chronology. that's exactly
what they wanted. when it was over
i missed the freedom of being noticed.
how time used to dance with me
like a yard's worth of wind. 
instead now, a skeleton. an x-ray.
my cobblestone teeth. the hooves 
of a minotaur in my jaw. a half smile.
stoops of my eyes. i used to be
a portal elk came to peer through. 
now an evacuation barrier in the midst 
of a fire tornado. hair singed.
ocean wary of my motives. 

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