Julia Hannafin – In Reverse


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I tip my head forward
wipe sweat across my brow

allow beads to run upwards
along the curve of my cheeks

witness the dying of muscle
in reverse, release grip on naked skin
and withhold my breath from the air

watch the sun dance outside
sweat burrows itself
back into my hairline

my knees straighten
palms open
bare hips rock away from yours

zippers knot themselves
back into one line
denim rises up over legs

the sun is rising
let you have your lips back
and steal away salt on skin

in reverse
take pain away from
your cheek as a punch
flies back into fist,
spit alcohol back into bottles

unlearn your name
see your face as I
did once, an assembly of parts

in reverse
our limbs shrink back
into arm sockets
fingernails shorten into nubs
and our backs curve inwards
as our hearts revert
to beating in unison
under the skins
of different swelling bellies.

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