My Life on Criminal Minds

I turned on the television

to find my myself

pinned in the opening credits 

of Criminal Minds.

My life flashed between bright orange square

and black and white selfies.

The show opened with my love life

splattered on a driveway, or held hostage

in a backroom, or newly discovered bones

in a schoolyard sandbox.

Wrapped in bright yellow police tape, 

the team examined me.

I become a pile of photographs 

that Gideon riffled through for a cause, 

while Hotch gathered me up to interrogate.

Garcia and Morgan bantered over my facts

and pulled me apart for flirtatious excerpts 

to deviate from the dark undertone.

Reid wrote my name over and over

as if every syllable created a puzzle or a riddle

that could be solved in an hour episode.

I wanted to decode every toxic relationship 

with featured commercial breaks

of island getaways, feminine hygiene,

and fifteen minute confessionals.

I watched episode after episode

and traced each chalk outline and hoped

that every white line formed a pathway

to find myself before the damage.

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