My Brooklyn is Park Slope filled with perfectly aligned brownstones and mom and popshops;
It's the kids who constantly invite me to Prospect Park to smoke a joint,
Or at the very least want me to keep the rollup warm so it won’t rip.
My Brooklyn is my home which is on the fringes of South Slope, almost in the Greenwood area.
My Brooklyn is Greenwood cemetery with my grandfather's grey and black marbled granite headstone:
Now ten years old, and seeing it on every anniversary of his death,
Followed by a sharp, painful guilt for not attending his funeral when I was 8.
It's where Grandma is buried, too.
I don't know how I feel about her except a mix of resentment and fondness mixed up into one:
Resentment because she kept my parents apart,
Fondness because she cared for me all and took me on the trips to 5th Avenue I remember so well.
Brooklyn is Cobble Hill: where Long Island College Hospital, Mom’s job, is located.
It's where I spent most of my past three years,
And gained most of my grey hairs,
And cried all the time.
It's where my mom got her lumpectomy to remove the cancer from her breast.
It's where they removed her cancerous thyroid,
Created the faint ring-like scar around the base of her neck,
Making it look like she tried to hang herself.
They also created the scar from her collarbone to two inches below her breasts,
Right down the center of her chest.
LICH is where they told me that in their professional opinion:
Mom had stage four cancer. (they were wrong but hurt nonetheless)
Brooklyn is the place where I first felt my anxiety attacks to come on,
Along with my depression,
But I masked it so I could be strong for my grandmother who just lost her son.
Brooklyn is where I spent many nights crying my eyes out,
Liquid spewing out of them like a faucet opened all the way,
Constantly questioning whether I should just put the blade to my skin or not.
I didn't want to start again, but I didn't know if I could resist.
Then I remembered moms face when she found out I had done it so many years before.
Not while Mom is sick.
Mom is depressed.
She's gotten through a lot of shit but I still don't think she's as depressed as I am.
This is Brooklyn.