it took me over a year to be able to put this into words
Lately I’ve been spending a good part of nearly every day thinking about love. Romantic love. The kind of love that involves french kissing and mix tapes and spooning in New York City in the summer when it’s by most people’s standards too disgustingly humid to spoon. The kind of love you wanna bring home to your grandma and say, “Grandma, look at this love! Just look at this LOVE!” Lately I’ve been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and who I need to become to become the kind of love I want to be…….and when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this: Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
my dad said he didn’t want anything to do with me anymore
because he already paid off his child support.
It made me wonder if when I pay off my student loans,
my degree will have no longer have value either.
I have to get my tonsils removed.
I know I’ve talked circles about the one who walked away
but I feel like he is a piece of me that I don’t really need,
that causes me so much pain and for some reason I put off removing.
apparently the surgery is worse on adults,
apparently the recovery process is hell
but my doctor says I’ll live a better life
if I just face the facts and do it.
my mother said I cried when I lost my first tooth,
I didn’t understand that I didn’t need it anymore.
I never wanted to lose my innocence,
I never wanted to remove the pieces of my body
that my mother grew for me,
I never wanted to say goodbye
to someone that made me feel whole
or to bury the pieces of him that I had
when he left me feeling broken.
my brother told me that everybody has to die
as he looked at his garden.
he said we are orcas
I laughed until he got quiet
and said we are orcas because he knows that
his daughter will have always have a family
long after he’s gone.
they say an entire orca pod stays together for life,
they say each pod has it’s own dialect and language.
they say orcas have a larger part of their brain
for emotions than humans,
that the mother will sometimes carry
her deceased child in their mouth for a week before letting them go.
my brother is 31 and instead of thinking
about the flowers on his daughter’s wedding day,
he thinks of what flowers he wants next to his casket.
I don’t want to admit this,
I don’t want to think about this
but I can’t ignore it either.
If I could stand in your driveway
with my tears in a jar and my happiness in another
I swear to God I’d hand you every smile I had left in me,
I swear to God I’d give you every laugh for the rest of my life.
even when we hit our funny bone,
we wince while everyone else laughs.
I’d slam myself into the corner of every table
just to see you smile.
I’ve spent too many nights
trying to write poems to the wounded,
hoping my words can heal someone.
you say that it’s too hard to watch me self-destruct.
tonight I wonder if I should have written those poems to myself.
but my life is an open book, you see
life hurts and life isn’t fair
but I can’t pretend sadness isn’t bittersweet
when you of all people know
that even the caterpillars weep when their friend
becomes a butterfly before they are ready
to say goodbye.