Erica Bernheim Imposters: When You Are Not You

Your family will believe your foot was broken with a crowbar.
You will tell them that you survived by eating insects, colonies
of ants and villa manillae, musical chiggers, migratory locusts,
death’s head hawkmoths. No one will question this story.

You will notice how few people really do frolic in the rain.
Voice stress lie detection tests will occur on Tuesdays
and only sometimes you will notice the number of yesterdays
that have taken place. The answer rhymes with “action,”

or maybe “pants.” The a-brokening of a heart: my main
goal in life is not to think of the cuckoo bird, the baby
making its own nest, accepted by the mother. I can pretend
to be hard. The new guard looks like the old guard.

I can construct a framework around what I hate:
gladiolas, gladiator sandals,
sundials, diaphanous windpipes,
cunicular asophogae.

I can kill the bloom on a moonflower.
I can carry garbage to a larger garbage container.

Dear Reader, I will never describe ink or blood as happening
in pools, never will I include a dog whose name I cannot recall,
lemons unless they are anything other than yellow,

covered in peel. I believe you know I know you know
why I’m here.
Nothing here will lead you to treasure.


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