also, why is this so usual for me
i’d like to say that now is when
i think about everything
monumental, like the economy
or my parents hurling pebbles at
each other’s backs or watching
“iron man” with my cousin on christmas,
feeling like some kind of tourist in my cousin’s bed,
i.e., is this what christmas is supposed to feel like?
i don’t know, i celebrate chanukah, please let me know.
sometimes i think about my brother
in the woods,
is there smoke lingering on his palm?
i don’t realize how much i care about him until i do, until
my eyes are dark out, until my eyes match
the insides of my stomach.
but usually i am thinking about you, or us, or we, last year, sitting
together like static tucked softly into our houses. you were
always digging graves inside of my neck because,
we’ll die soon but before that we’ll get married,
except wait i’m 18. my stomach still lines my throat
when i swallow pills and i don’t know how to cradle
anything else other than my knuckles and there are plants
in the windowsill and i water them, sometimes, when i feel
like it. when i was 13 i saw blood streaming my underwear
and i told myself, this is it, i’m with death, i knew the doctor
was lying when he said i was so healthy.
when i was 13 my mother came into my room
and said, “look, now you can have children.” i was 13, now i am five years
older, i still cry when i think about mothers. how easy it is for them
to lose their children. like once i watched “boy in the striped pajamas”
(on my birthday) (how stupid) and i cried for three hours afterwards because
i felt like the mother, or just a mother, or my mother and her mother
and her mother and how we could all easily pull away from each other like thread.
once a boy from my school died and another time a girl from my
camp hung herself and i cried for their parents, mostly. i didn’t
know how to cry for myself yet and i still don’t. i’m tangling
other people’s emotions around my throat, i’m still trying
to find mine. mother tells me, you’ll find them if you clean your room.
mother says, look at how much you’ve grown. i am churches of guilt
when i don’t believe her. there are always people praying
inside of me. nobody should ever pray inside of me, least
of all you. if anything my hands are two skyscrapers
but that’s the only kind of building i know how to be.
i’m sorry, i’m in bed googling ways to leave somebody
without hurting them and also without being selfish. i am so
selfish, like leaves covering sidewalks, i am so selfish and i am
so sorry and i am crumpled but also i think i’ll be okay and
maybe one day i’ll think of you without feeling so sorry for myself.