Brief History by David R. Ruekberg

It’s not that I got over my fear of death.
I just became too busy to remember.

So I avoided an intimacy with strangers,
which was all I really wanted.

I had studied the plastic breastplate
and the plastic sword I’d begged for as a child,

made them stronger with a collection
of daily insults. The imagined ones were best.

I erased the memories of fear and pain,
then erased the erasures. I bleached

the unsoiled linens, forgave the forgiven,
and skirted the camouflage of moss and sticks

I’d built above the vertiginous void
that was my hell and my salvation.

So I announced my arrival at an arctic bliss
in the order of my clips and paper.

# # #

David Ruekberg lives and teaches English near Rochester, NY. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson College, and was awarded a residency at Jentel Arts. Poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Mudfish, North American Review, Poet Lore, Sugar House, Yankee, and elsewhere.

Photo credit: Dirk Dreyer


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