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Shit I Keep Telling Myself I'll Use, But Probably Won't Realistically (That I'll Keep Anyway for Fear of Wasted Potential)

Amy Jarvis

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in this box of my brother’s discarded dreams, we are 
silhouettes. somewhere along the line we dissolved into 
amalgams                                             became & bartered  
ourselves into one another. the hero complex did not 
originate in Heracles, its roots exist in every older sibling who  
use peripheral vision as instinct for protection. here’s the kicker— 
we store fragments of ourselves away for later, then they  
calcify & we blame the road not taken. what this means: 
family trees are gnarled & knotted, a collective memory 
firing off in every cartographed direction. when we talk  
about external factors                           we’re ignoring common  
snares. genetics don’t explain the fear of forgotten potential, but  
when I say hagiography, every saint  
haloed & immaculate, I remember my hands  
first allowed to cradle your scalp. you were a reddened  
nebula, small & infinite in my once-nicked palm. & what 
about the sycamore, the seeds in your mouth, the baby teeth 
you’ve spat out into my hands. it’s like each of us is
a half-formed reflection of one another                 what looks out 
does not look back.   

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