New Territory (Poem)

New territory that I'm frightened to explore
I think I'll pace around the borders
before I pry open the door.
New territory & I think I'm almost ready
Spent the past half hour shaking;
now I'm trying to get steady.
With the precision of a gymnast on a beam,
I take cautious steps & then I swallow my scream.
& I know that I can't go through life with both of my eyes closed
My pupils aren't film; they won't falter when exposed.
So I smudge my fingerprints all over the clean slate
So if I attempt to turn back, it will be too late.
Teeth perched sharply on my lip
I'm still not allowing a scream to slip.
Time to stop dwelling on what is behind me
'Cause I've left evidence for the future to find me.
After the past gasps for its final breath
I throw dirt on the casket & the past gives in to death.


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