Maybe if I write everything will be okay again. Maybe if I stop talking, things will make sense. I’m sure that maybe one day, if I keep a record, I will be able to trace my steps back to yesterday. Or tomorrow. And then, it will all be clear to me. This is a good way to live, I think. A life of using words like band aids has taught me that if I care enough to write about it, it was probably worth it.
So here I go. Words.
I think if my skin were a person it would put up a “For Rent” sign. I think it would look for a new tenant, someone more honest and responsible. I think if my heart were not a complex organ with tons of shit to do, it would bleed.
I am convinced that I was born to long for something off in the distance. No matter where I was currently standing.
I miss my family. I miss my mother, and I will never see her again because I am gay. I am so angry because she broke my heart, and I’m still so sorry because I know that I broke hers too.
I don’t feel smart anymore, I feel like I fall short of the lowest expectations and I am insecure again, like, even my hands shake before I’ve written a word.
I want to change the world, but I am too tired. I sleep. And when I wake up, with the sunlight cutting through my grief. I am so aware of how lucky I am and how beautiful the world is,
You can’t have it all but there is
coffee with hazelnut creamer willing to kiss your lips even if they tremble.
a full plate of vegetarian Tacos to catch your tears during dinner.
You can’t bring back the dead but you can have the memory of your grandmother challenge the slump
of your shoulders
and you can have laundry detergent sticking to your fingers
the way the way words seem to stick to
and you can’t go back,
but you can stand in place, and look around.
You can wake again, to sunlight resting on the porcelain skin of her every morning
and interrupted dreams where you could almost feel your brother’s laughter
in your lungs
And you can have the promise that if my sorrow could be forgotten for a thing,
she’d bring me the mountains, and a rock from the bottom of the
And you can’t press, but you can send,
signs that you are still a person
to the man that was walking his dog back home.
You get to have a mother
who fucked up but raised you
with a voice,
that is heard,
even when it shakes,
and that’s why you’re out
out on your ass and out
of the closet,
and you can’t go back but you can dream about it at 11:53 AM on Wednesday,
when the pages and screens blur.
And you can’t have your mother but you can have a mind that she loved
that is so yours
and so not theirs.
And you can have sunsets over used book stores and
a chance to unplug, unravel, and undo.
You can have wine and The Trapeze Swinger echoing in your head
and you can live on the brink of tears, while laughing anyway
You can have the shelter of your skin
and the promise that it wont abandon you.
You have clothing sold for gas money and bills
Love letters that break your mother’s heart
and opened yours.
With smooth wrists, and slim fingers resting in your hair while you sleep
You can have love still, though you’ve considered all the facts
You can write, and you can feel, and you can build a home in your chest and you can call it the truth.
Line by line you have fingers less numb, typing:
you can’t have it all…
but there is this.
***I wrote this poem to practicce gratitude, it inspired by Barbara Ras’ (“You Cant Have it All”)