The junk drawer in the kitchen.
Behind the microwave cart.
Under-the-counter, in the cabinet
where you store your mother’s
In the roots of that immense oak tree
near the high school — not the old one,
the new one where there used to be a sandpit
where you partied, where you learned to fuck
without killing yourself on the stick shift.
In the depths of a pond
where you think someone must have drowned;
it’s so dark, so cold; keep diving, resurfacing.
In a group photo on a travel brochure
for a place you may have passed through
on your way to a conference for some job
or another back when you were working.
As you search, if you find little
to give you hope of success, go non-linear:
is there a sitar in your name? A
giant zither, a sidewinder’s hiss on sand?
Were you ever in a Cave
where the shadows looked like home?
Start at someone else’s beginning and try on
all their varied history of names. If any of them
resonate, perhaps yours rhymed with theirs
at some point; sit up all night practicing,
interrogating your tongue as to what feels familiar.
You were somewhere once.
You might still be there. Retrace
your breath. Your first atoms, long ago
shed, have not disintegrated. Someone’s
got them. Look in someone else
for yourself. Tear them apart
until you are satisfied you aren’t there.
Are you certain
you are not in the junk drawer?
Did you move the razor blades
in the medicine cabinet
to see what’s back there?