Boomerang

Our lives are like pantoums. Those lines come back To haunt us. Say your mantras, make your peace. Every slur you heard is elegiac: Something dies within. Something is released

To haunt us. Make your mantras, say your piece: You were worthless then, dear. And worthless now. Something dies within. Something is released. In time you'll learn to let your goodness go —

You were worthless then, dear, and worthless now — And concentrate on arts of pain instead. In time you'll learn, too. Let your goodness go To waste on every partner in your bed,

And concentrate on arts of pain. Instead Of needing love, remember you have lines To waste on every partner in your bed: You disappoint me. You show all the signs

Of needing love, remember? You have lines To lock the heart and no one has the key. You disappoint me. You show all the signs. If you're nothing, you have nothing to lose. . . .

Oops. Try as I might, the transitional line "To lock the heart and no one has the key" would not repeat as the first line of the next stanza, no matter how I played with or varied it. Worse, the line seemed too sentimental anyway. It had to go.

But revising a line in a pantoum is like removing a can from a stacked pyramid in the grocery store. The pyramid may tumble down. Let's see how you can revise and prevent that from happening.

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