The Past Is…


There’s nothing of the past
in her eyes
when she’s telling me about where she came from.
“I know where I’ll never be,”
she spits and sputters like an engine underwater
“again.”
It’s true what they say about second chances,
but I’m not sure what that is.

She had her first drink
at the age of eight,
with her father.

“I haven’t been back since I was seventeen,”
which is both the full story and barely the
beginning.
She is thin and beautiful
the way women are when they don’t know better,
and then there are her crooked teeth, near white.
I would attempt to console her if I knew
what to think
when she moaned,
“I’m more vinegar than honey,
but the flies come all the same.”
There is terror where her irises should be,
though not her own.

Melina had a younger sister,
still does,
but what could be done? She had to get out
to survive
and she was too young to be anyone’s savior.
She had a sister.

Indulgent

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