Don't call me homeless. Even though my bed is short a few roofs and walls and my neighbors are street corners and street corners, don't call me homeless. Don't call me homeless. Even though there is no heat so I use my mother's body for warmth and little brother uses mine, don't call me homeless. Because home is where you read your favorite books, study for that test you know you'll fail, practice kissing your first love, sing your mouth vibrant, where your mother makes you laugh like dandelions when the wind tickles them free and where your mother is a moon and you the sea and she gives you the strength to rage the tyranny of seashells from your pit. Home holds you like a rib cage to a heart, and mine is just missing a few bones. Because home is all you have after your roof and walls are gone. So don't call me homeless, because home is all I have left.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the November 2014 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.