I’m hastily pinning arteries to the insides of my off-brand cardigan,
I dress to be as pretty as she’d thought I’d be.
I fear that part of me that smiles when I talk to her.
Officer, that spray paint was somethings others weren’t meant to see.
So please, place it back into my bag of tricks
I guard like a magician does his secrets.
Up inside my sleeves plastic cards have left their marks on the my wrists-
Like searing white bracelets against the tan skin
I had always wished to lighten,
Or my teeth I’d wish to straighten
Like the bars of a cage used to hold pigeons-
I mean doves.
Because today’s another chance at that self-love everyone has been talking about.
So I wake up. I get my bag and fake ID,
And I take all 12 keys used to lock my door.
I don’t sleep with candles burning anymore.
I don’t pray for accidents as my friends are dying.
I’d be lying if I said my perceptions aren’t shifting,
Gifting me with a reason to keep my blood within my body.
My bones hold more than closeted skeletons do.
I aim to prove that I can love my ragdoll seams
And lavender washed dreams.
The color purple
Doesn’t look good on me,
But I’m learning to wear it anyway.
Waking up to changed sheets
That aren’t littered with shots of bleach
Helps me want to get changed in the morning.
I’ll love myself on days without rain,
On days without gospels and job opportunities.
The sleuth in me, working around the critic.
The musician searching for the warm vocal chords of loved ones that love me,
Finally listening to my voicemails,
Finally answering my phone.
It’s not strange that people want to talk to me,
But that wasn’t covered in school, so I must have never learned it-
Must have never earned it.
Pessimistic generation X and narcissistic Generation Y,
All while millions vie for a small piece of a broadband
I desperately want to fit around my naked fourth finger.
I search for a love to make the days go faster.
To me, it’s as coveted as the tarnished crosses
Laying along her sinful collarbone.
Send me home to a place where people know how to pronounce my name,
Where weird questions are kind and I have the chance to learn.
I’m not a romanticized history textbook.
I do not bind the golden stories written by victors-
And that’s what makes something as simple
As self-love difficult.
I wake up to see myself,
To love myself within the noise and be loved by the chaos.
Like draws like in children’s picture journals.
Love in is crayon,
It sits in the swing sets we play on
Before the sun sets and the street lights stay on
To show me the way home,
Wherever that may be,
Wherever people know how to pronounce my name
With love behind it.
Wherever I love myself-
That candy coated dream-
That magical but true place-
I want to go to sleep
And wake up there.