I was little.
My mother was a bank teller.
I called her a fortune teller.
She nick-named me Pangee.
Not Pangea. I was never in one piece.
The first time I called someone “ugly”
my heart had an ice-cream headache for three weeks.
Tell that to my future.
Say, “The moon doesn’t care to be a bully when it’s full.”
I was running from myself on empty.
Not much made sense, like the Russians didn’t like us
because they couldn’t afford blue jeans?
What I knew
is that I wasn’t killing spiders cause I was scared of them
I was killing them
because they were scared of me.
You can have a cold war with yourself
even in the summertime.
I watched the rocks get slapped by the sea.
I knew the sea was made of the same stuff as tears.
That meant if you were hurting you could understand the sharks.
Maybe carry them between your ears.
Maybe hear the word ‘love’ and start running from the teeth.
I was running around with a panic in my chest.
The teacher said, “Silence is golden.”
I wanted to say, “Silence is bronze at best,”
but I had already time capsuled my voice box
hoping someday I would be either brave or scared enough to dig it out and open it all the way up.
That’s how I got here.
In this old rocking chair
typing with my grandma’s thimbles on my fingers.
Every poem is something being sown.
Every poem is me asking “are we there yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
Years after they told me I was already home.
My love’s feet were still not welcome on the welcome mat,
but you’ve never seen bridges that could arch like that.
So we crossed the river to where the echo took us in.
That’s where I learned bouncing back is about being honest with the canyon.
That’s how I got this see-through skin, this glow-in-the-dark fear.
This here is my shame on a silver plate.
I know it is the one meal that all of us share.
I know how much time we spend sleeping beneath our beds ‘cause somebody told us that’s where the monsters should hide.
Y’all everyone is going to pick a side on
whether they are good or bad,
whether you are kind or cruel.
But what if the quickest root to loving ourselves is deciding its all true.
Every bit of it.
I was not a child the last time I threw a full tantrum fit in the grocery store.
I was not poor the last time I stole
like it wasn’t worth my change.
I do not need air traffic control to tell me there have not been enough flights for me to lose all of my baggage.
I am learning to claim it at the same carousel where I am learning beating yourself up is never a fair fight
only knocks the wind out of our chances to come clean through that canyon.
To be exactly who we are
so we might become exactly who we want to be.
So if our baggage is to run we will one day learn to run like we sing
like someone took apart a cello to build our hamstrings.
This is me running straight into your arms to tell you my skyscraper heart might still be afraid of heights.
Your dark side might still be searching for its stars but the acoustics are still amazing in our meteor showers.
The light will never be out of your league.
You were the first one picked for your own team.
Our underdog hearts are winning this game even when we are doing it all wrong,
even when we are falling apart.
Sometimes it takes a storm for the whole sea to start doing the wave.
I know it took a storm for the message in the bottle to finally reach my shore.
To teach me how to write my entire life using only the shift key to mess up, to bounce back, to let myself be
the hinge that keeps opening the door
to look you straight in the eye and tell you
I didn’t come here to write my heart out
I came here to write it in.