A Self-Reflection

1
Two lives are missing from the tree
Two hanging participles, unfinished phrases
Two Dark Ages, voids in my family history

2
In a college cafe, I sit across a speckled plastic table
From a girl who wants to be my friend, great blonde hair
Like a cloud had settled upon her head
Desperation races through my veins, my hands
Kept beneath the table to hide white knuckles
I want to be a friend, too, but I fade out
Of focus.  That’s all I can remember.

3
Four years are missing from my head
Four indefinite chapters in my biography

4
The plastic porch chair is sticky hot
Against what skin has been exposed
To a sun growing hazy and dim in my sight
North Carolina heat speeds the drowsiness, speeds
The tires on their way, rushing to meet me
And unfurl a white bed and waiting hands
That finish my parent’s sentences
I’ve been waiting for that conclusion.

5
One history rolls through my veins
Three names have been scrubbed by an eraser
One name remained.

— Leighanne Ellis

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