imprisoned by memory

by Aqeela Naqvi

I am here and not there, but
there where I’m here the clouds
like mothballs floating overhead
falling down, down, cascading—
I’m split in two, cleaving convulsing
all at once (or twice) renewed
pythons engorged by my fantasies
break through, caressingly smothering
my vision until all I see is
sky, half of me, me
which is wood, which is flesh?
my heart is distracted by yellow smoke
my mind ticks, an empty metronome.
all the while, the snakes perch
their tongues flicking into memory
the comfort of a slithering noose
whispering my name

“Three Sphinxes Of Bikini,” Salvador Dali