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Trauma Studies

Tears rush forth from
           a jagged chasm
and we study them under
a microscope to determine exactly
           what kind of weeping
this is. I seek
an unknown

grandfather, research genetics and
epigenetics,
            rest in the simple

reasons for this desire of mine to
stop, lay down and sigh me
            asleep.

My father made and he makes
impossible promises to sober up
and I forgave and I forgive him
           because I can walk the path

of his pain all the way

            back to 1492, observe it in an
anthropological kind of way.
I’ve made a habit of quietly shaping

myself around the melancholy
minds of others, the how and
the why and
           at what moment
they first felt

the ancient wound, an anemic smile
cut to the tune of a man locked away
in a log cabin, alone for the winter and
           maybe forever. Blank

           snow, stark branches,
sharp wind—it’s rude, how
            the days sing

of our trauma without first asking if
we’d like to discuss it. You sing to me
and I am healed
and undone.

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