Back When

There were butterfly wraiths that marked our entry, and the knots I’d tied in the strings of my dress, one, two, three, like cotton rosary beads – a payment in palmed trinkets. I leaned close to their soft phrases, their whisky hymns and the callused voices of their fingertips – we were a swayed collective, a flower-stemmed people that moved in the still air.

Opposite hands at the right and left of my winged hips – learn to hold yourself, they said. Learn that your fingers are treasured things. Your measure has not lessened, you can still move with the ghost mouthing lyrics against the nape of your neck. Revel in the exquisiteness of your damp skin.

Right now, we are vinyl; we play like records – the sound of black and white photos.

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