I Was Born

I was born in a hospital room in Boston.
My father held me up, my little uncrying face turned towards the window.
Today, I imagine light streamed in
Light drifting and piercing through the hospital room’s soft grey shadows like white and yellow feathers, the January crisp chill pervading the room.
I became a mix of those two things from that day
That strong bright light and that January dreary chill
Like an open door with a keep out sign.

This is for you, the Freshman at my school, unrelated to me, who call me mom.
My hand patting your soft hair isn’t a charade, I care about this name you’ve given me
Motherlike, I want to protect the world in my palms.
My arms around the equator, squeezing a little too tightly
Juxtaposition of my independent nature.

This is for my friend’s laughter as it cautiously bubbles out like a prayer
This for my mother, her tears leaking out like they weren’t sure whether they were supposed to be there on her cheek
This is for my senior comfort, his beard scratchy on my forehead in our hugs, placing me in his past while he looks to his future.
This for the friend who turns on my world like a light bulb, illuminating my dark corners in knowledge, scaring out my shame and insecurity like mice
This is for you- the boy with the deep-set eyes, sleepily folded like freshly laundered blankets.
You strip away my layers like my clothes, me shyly keeping my brain more under wraps than my body.

I want to hold the earth, but I hold myself back
I am not ready to drop it again,
Seconds away from smashing the world on my kitchen floor, my mediocrity makes my arms weak, my insecurity hazes my vision.
But I will not try to retreat.

My heart might be full of holes from needles and bombs
But Love is not a forbidden word anymore
Held always in the back of my throat
Like a sob, tears stuck in the back of my eyes
So if my voice is breathy, I will yell
If I can’t yell loud enough, jump high enough, hold tight enough to cling on then
If I can’t be in love, I will be love.

And I might always have
One eye on you one eye on the
Wonderful terrifying always present distractions of my brain and the world outside me
My life like a pinwheel, struggling to balance on a breath of wind
Fighting my heartbreaks with more heartbreaks, stitching up my internal organs with red thread, blood pooling in my skull like a flooded imagination.
I never learned to fly, so I will fall,
When I fall, I will climb to the top and jump off again
Deeper into that chasm where my soul lives, I know when I get there I will find Silence.
I love you, I love you
A mirror, reflecting your faces
You in my memory like a film, I replay
Over and over, this is for you, my explanation of my unexplainable love.

Sometimes love is not calm.
I may burn you, scald you, searching for confirmation, I may become a fat mother surrounded by other people doing “cooler” things, competing and hating and rubbing out other peoples’ faces in their minds like erasers, and I am guilty of that as well. But my chill subsides.
I will not conform you, there even when you don’t want me, I will be that pitiful flame that lights your way.

Now, I’m back in Boston.
I see my hospital room around me
The light pouring in like a million doves, their feathers falling around me like spring rain
And the chill subsides, and my life is love.





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