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Mar 2013
A voice inside keeps repeating,
You’ll never have this opportunity again.
Title or first line sets precedent.
Pride is my sin, even with low self-esteem.

I remember severe pain
sitting at table
with head collapsed
on folded arms.

God sat across table from me,
asking, “Who do you think you are?”
I froze, forgot how to talk.
When I looked up, the thought was gone.

I recognize pattern within myself,
where I fall prey
to someone who may or may not
take advantage of me.

I grow anxious, fearful, needing to be released.
In childhood, my younger sister ran to my side,
but years of therapy freed her of that job.
I still return to pattern, frantic, self-destructive,

worthless feeling, with no one to rescue, nurture me.
You may wonder about my allure to my ex
and other damaged women I’ve loved.
Now you know, I’m ******-up.

Unseasoned, I scribbled, “If the peanut butter
isn’t streaked with jelly smears,
than you’re living too ****-retentive and proper a life.”
I realize my younger self wouldn’t like older self.

Enough about me, let’s talk about you.
What’s it like being a Siamese twin?
Are two heads really better than one?
When one of you finds a lover, what does the other do?

Do you look away? Close your eyes? Stare?
Who’s in charge of money?
Ok, I didn’t mean to get off on the wrong foot.
So you’re not actually a Siamese twin?

Seeing double is my problem, oh god.
Tonight my sister wrote,
“I begin to understand the mystery of life,
the moment unfolding, to harshness

and softness of just one moment,
so dear, to haunt you for desiring more.”
The moon tonight, thin sharp slice set on spine
in western sky. A miracle, that’s what I think.

You’ll never have this opportunity again.
michael reid rubenstein
   st64, --- and Marsha Singh
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