Through My Fingers
and i use these words, as i have used so many others: i am dreaming of a life and it's not the life that's mine. this half-life is a collection of cast-off mail-order catalogs, of empty coffeecups and vacant rooms, of broken hearts and thousand yard stares, of loneliness and only knowing how i could have done things differently. i see my past through a microscope, examining every action through the clarity of surviving the consequences. and this is how i judge my life and how i calculate its worth. but what would happen if i finally forgave myself for things i couldn't have changed? what would happen if i began life anew, not as a spectator but as a participant? what if i were finally able to let go of everything and start over? what if the guilt dissipated like fog burning off the coastline as i drove north, disappearing into the forests i loved as a child? time has burned tragedy into my skin like a brand, black and hard to the touch. it is a bar code, a number, a swoosh. it is a logo, a means of identity. i wear pain like a tailored shirt and insults like silk ties. i'm a sharp dresser with a wardrobe to envy. and my life - like my lovers, like my family - slips through my fingers with each new knot.