for many years i chatted with the windowsills
and the trees, their heartwood
and i wanted to be like that, not some druxied girlhood.
not some half - girl, made of skeins
part - misery too ancient to name.
you said you wanted to know things i never told you.
i cut my bangs with scissors, and hid a grape in the corner
to watch it ripen. i’m not lying, i’m really not.
i once grew five inches in one year
and tricked my mom into thinking i ate all my sausage when i really just threw it on the floor.
my grandfather gave me a gummy bear everyday.
i didn’t have to do anything, just see him
trapped in his room, penn state droning in the background
and my mom tells me now he was sweet only to me.
i haven’t seen him in years
except for a dream in a purple room; we played solitaire, and he had legs,
his hat crooked back, and he was grinning, then he floated away in philadelphia and
my mom said it was my goodbye, and i haven’t seen him since.
i woke up one morning to my weeping mom and aunt, and she took me into her arms (i was too young to dissolve myself when i was touched,
like some nation you’d do away with)
and said “poppy went to heaven”
and that’s all i needed to know.
in reality i don’t remember half of these things .
it’s difficult to tell you things that were apart of my childhood.
they trickle back slowly, taking tentative steps.
i remember rescuing maui.
she was born under the stairs of our porch.
a small little thing, trembling,
a bundle of fur with sad eyes,
and i recognized the abandonment that shrivelled her
and i talked to her,
too, when she was a kitten,
almost like she’d listen. as if i could talk the abandonment away.
i’d say oh, i’m very lonely,
and step by step she’d approach me, her curious pink nose scrunching,
almost as if she could smell the rank of loneliness on me.
in eighth grade
i met a boy, and he was very tall, and joked about being choked by the clouds.
for the first time in my life someone looked over their shoulder for me, making sure i was behind them, making sure the crowd hadn’t swallowed me up
that the students hadn’t swatted me away like some fly.
we are our own worst mirrors.
as a child i swore off love
because i thought it was too good for me,
i thought love didn’t occur to malaises.
little did i know
i was searching for you in everyone.
when i was a freshman a girl with your hair sat next to me on the bus
and it was two seats.
i thought all day about her thigh warmly touching mine.
she did not move away.
it was the first time someone was not repulsed by me.
a few years ago we did a project in german
about dream partners , and i was scared to write the feminine form,
so i wrote the male one instead,
but i said i wanted him
to be funny, dusklight warm, gentle, a voyager.
i didn’t know german that well
so i said i wanted him to be funny and tall .
and you, the morning song
glazed in peach juice,
i carry a piece of you everywhere i go,
shoehorn you into memories,
as if you were with me all along.