For Katie

April 30, 2017

To the girl with the zebra stripes on her hips

Lips stained red with the sorrys that drip from the little space between her two bottom teeth
Yeah, that one over there, making war paint out of blood
Telling america to fear the girl with dreams big enough to fill all of her mother’s empty bottles
To the girl with a broken stomach, taped together with clichés and wide angle lenses
She somehow forgets that
Tape doesn’t hold up well to salt water
That sometimes it peels off in limp soggy strips, crusted with earth
But that girl is made of flesh and bone

To the girl who stands with her faced turned upwards towards the sky
Open mouthed, catching poetry on her tongue
Yeah, you
When birnam wood stands up from the tangled brush that holds it to the ground
It might chase you so don’t be afraid to chase it back down Dunsinane hill
Excuse the Macbeth reference because you are no Banquo
You are a girl,
Feet hanging off the dock as the rain makes little circles in the water
Falling on your hair, lingering in your mid-blink eyelashes
You are a girl who loved a girl who exploded into the sky on the fourth of july
Leaving you behind, clutching handfuls of her scent in white knuckled fingers
You are a girl who is loved by a girl with wrists cuffed by a report card they call opportunity
Trying to fly in a plane without wings, skimming the surface of an ocean without salt
But when you lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling
You are just a girl

To the girl with the amazon river on her cheeks
Stretching her fingers to the moon from the roof of a house on the highway
If anyone tells you to rub the alligators from your eyes,
Tell them that crying triggers a chemical reaction in the brain that releases serotonin,
A neurotransmitter that is hypothesized to relieve stress and boost mood
But chemicals don’t change the wetness of your pillow on your face
‘Cause no matter how many times you flip it over it still feels soggy
See, i’m not very good at giving advice but
Fill your sky with as many stars as possible
In this wordless picture
A young girl gathers wildflowers
And in the midst of her noodleheaded nightmares,
She writes her very own story

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