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I wish
you hadn’t done that.
I really do.
I wish you hadn’t told me what I could and couldn’t do
because you made me stroll right past rolling paths lined with fresh, green grass,
waiting patiently
for footprints.
and I always thought that when you took my hand you were making sure I didn’t fall down
it took me awhile to realize I might as well have just laid my back to the ground,
arms crossed over my chest,
so it’d be a little easier for you to drag me around.

I wish you hadn’t spent so much of your time telling me I’m pretty
love, don’t patronize me
you and I both know
I’m only pretty when I’m quiet
you and I both know
I’m only pretty because you told me so
“pretty,”
what a funny word for you to use,
when you and I both know
what pretty really means to you.

I wish you hadn’t called me at three in the morning wondering if I was okay
because you made me think
I had somebody on my side.
you made me think I had somebody who’d prefer
two pairs of heavy eyes and a smile
than one pair of bright eyes and
one pair of eyes that don’t really care to open today.
you made me think you cared
about the tears in my room in the middle of the night
but there’s only one thing you ever cared about
that goes on in a bedroom
at three in the morning.

I wish you hadn’t done all that,
but thank you.

thank you, sincerely,
for being the best teacher I’ve ever had.
congratulations on successfully etching this lesson into every last one
of my bones:
nobody loves me
like I love me.

thank you for drawing me a perfect map
and now that you’re gone
I can go back and walk down every road I ever missed
because I was busy staring through a tunnel
with you on the other side.
and lastly,

thank you for doing it all to me,
because you might have turned somebody else into a shipwreck,
but my sail still catches the wind and my ship still floats on,
and I’ll be damned if it ever sinks
because of you.






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