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Discourse of Discourses

For Tom

Griselda waits. Child eater. Good wife.

The stories we are told as children
leave mute tethers, limning the interior
of grey matter, the hollowed synapse.

I remember Thumbelina: I too was small; prey-mate to mouse, mole.
I remember Bluebeard: I too was curious; opening doors, drawers, finding
books my mother thought well-hidden. The bloodied key—the golden
finger.

If history is some human-centered past, seen from the vantage
point of future, here named present, then
it can be the study of change over time. But it cannot
be inhabited, except in the half-ghosts of memory.

At three, we learn sugar-cakes and sweet milk. At fourteen, we know
disobedience and deceit. Desire cannot be stilled.

*

Like that long poem, tapeworm, segments, unending
mutations—until eventually
you lost more than half, down the rabbit hole
of forgotten saves, last update
unknown. Some reconstructed

beauty, love maps and lost memories,
Circassian memories measured
out of unearthed skulls, misunderstood
marbles whitewashed by time,
disastrous sanding ruining
all of Elgin’s ill-gotten treasure.

By your own account “Overwritten, / Underwritten.” You,

prey to history: discourse
of discourses. We misremember ourselves. It’s the misremembered self
we seek,

like reading old encyclopedias, hopelessly
out of date, yet true.

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Contributors

C. Kubasta is the author the chapbooks, A Lovely Box and &s, and a full-length collection, All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX, 2015). She is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and serves as assistant poetry editor with Brain Mill Press.

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