See, she and I, we come from the tribe of raw knuckled little girls who call our father by their first names and wear their mothers like bruise coloured war paint under eye. We grew thick skin before we grew permanent teeth. We learned to piece together our own families in the backyards of rented duplexes where we promised plastic faced babies better things in soothing tones that we mimicked from TV. We do not have daddy issues even though our daddy’s have issues. We have piercing eyes and promises to keep. We grew up to be nomads surveying domestic war zones with black eyeliner binoculars, always refusing to camouflage. We threw our heads back and laughed at oncoming explosions, never flinched, absorbing shrapnel, never let them see us cry.
We do not dream of boys who will save us from towers. We dream of boys with courage caked under their fingernails. Boys with hands rough enough to wipe metal tears from our faces but warm enough to mold them into stars. Boys with vertebrae strong enough to lock with ours so they can sleep sitting back to back with us and keep watch. And these are the boys, these are the boys who will find love under our armor. These are the boys who will find that we love selectively but we love fiercely. These are the boys who will learn that we love in ways that leave claw marks down the baseboard before we ever let go.
So do not think she doesn’t know how you fear her absence - you should. Your cage is not stronger than her will or her smile. Do not think you are good enough to tame her. You aren’t. And do not think you are the first to try because i have already closed your eyes and crossed your arms before your body hit the floor. And you think she deserves better than you. You are right. So be better than you.
Be thankful that she knows your name and be careful never to forget hers."
You’re not doing well and finally I don’t have to
pretend to be so interested in your on going tragedy,
I’ll rob the bank that gave you the impression that
money is more fruitful than words, and
I’ll cut holes in the ozone if it means you have one less day of rain.
I’ll walk you to the hospital,
I’ll wait in a white room that reeks of hand sanitizer and latex for the results from the MRI scan that tries to
locate the malady that keeps your mind guessing, and
I want to write you a poem every day until my hand breaks
and assure you that you’ll find your place,
the world has a funny way of
hiding spots fertile enough for
bodies like yours to grow roots.
I miss you like a dart hits the iris of a bullseye,
or a train ticket screams 4:30 at 4:47, I
wanted to tell you that it’s my birthday on Thursday
and I would have wanted you to
give me the gift of your guts on the floor, one last time,
to see if you still had it in you.
I hope our ghosts aren’t eating you alive.
If I’m to speak for myself, I’ll tell you that
the universe is twice as big as we think it is
and you’re the only one that made that idea
I am a childhood toy, with my
arms broken off,
kept for so long in nostalgia;
I am your favorite song from high school,
but I don’t quite sound the same
I am a tattered souvenir
shirt from a friend,
buried deep in your closet because
it would be rude to throw me away;
I am a tarnished nickel,
green with corrosion, lost
in the dust between
your bed and the wall, and I
never was worth much to you.