I remember when I small
And I would ask you for a sleepover for my every birthday
Because I wanted to be close to you
Because I think I secretly hated living at home
Where the air was a little toxic
And I was afraid to speak
Because they all made fun of me
(But you always defended me)
And there was yelling everyday
About new and old offenses--
Nothing was too small to argue about
(But you never yelled and you loved your husband and you were kind).
So I asked for sleepovers.
And I think sometimes I wanted to live with you in DC,
Even though your apartment was kind of crappy
And there were bars on the windows
And your car had two doors and no air conditioning;
But it all felt like ¾ home to me.
So I asked to sleep over for my birthdays,
Just the two of us.
And we would go to dinner or you would make me pasta or soup.
And sometimes the others would come and it would be just us four
Or us five,
And I would be happy,
Or at least content for the weekend.
And I don’t think I could have lived without it
Because the air at home was half toxic -
But it wasn’t toxic enough to kill me
So it’s only suffocated me until I’ve lost my voice before I’ve gotten the chance to learn that I’m
allowed to have one,
So now they think they can tell me that my silence is my flaw.
And I don’t think I would have lived without you to tell me
That it wasn’t a flaw
And that I wasn’t crazy for being me
Or for wanting to be me.
And I’ve almost died before,
Even though I still have you,
So I really think I would have died without you.
And you asked me once what I would bring to a desert island
If I were somehow stranded and could only bring one thing,
And I think I said the European chocolate one of my friends brought back from Germany
Or something meaningless like that
But I think I would have brought you
Because you were my escape
From a half toxic wasteland
Strong enough to take my voice away.