In another life, I might have been a gypsy,
Dancing around the fire with hands like moth’s wings,
Fluttering closer and closer to the flame.
In a different life, I was a pigeon with one foot,
Hobbling, hated, along the streets of New York City.
I was once a sailor, a pilgrim, a black plague victim,
a watchmaker driven mad
By the endless golden hands that turned about all of those
Sweet round faces but never once reached for his own
Flesh in a tick of tender greeting.
Ungrateful fucks, he had said, as he polished the silver
And aligned the gears so his newest creation
Could be locked in time, forever on schedule.
My past lives,
They shutter upon my closed eyelids
Like a dream.
Strange that I don’t have the memory
Of any of my deaths.