146

sometimes it feels like
the world is keeping secrets from me
a magical potion everyone is taking
that make them more beautiful, intelligent
than me

some elusive clocking device
the more they hide, the more secure it becomes
I wonder if they confide in each other
their best kept con

I wonder if they think I have one, too

145

even as it seems
the world falls apart
and there are no good people

I consider how rain feels like
the universe, releasing pressure
and that the sun kisses every surface it finds
and how looking for good things
often manifests them

140

I think of how freedom tastes like
a crisp sparkling soda
where the sun meets sand
head meets heart
these are the places I always go
when the light shines on the back of my hands

today, especially
I remember that our paths aren’t all the same
that my skin tone is in itself, a token of value
one that grants freedom
the benefit of the doubt
a price that others often find themselves paying

139

we lived in a house at the end of the street
you’d turn the corner from the main road and we were there
this delicate landmark
this home sweet home

some nights the house would creak
old pipes, my dad would say
but some nights I swore I heard voices
ghosts of me from the future
whispering to remember this part
to remember this

I’m inflicted with memory
of first steps and a porch swing
a swinging pendulum of how time passes
that limbo when a moment turns into a memory
and all you can do is just watch it leave

when will this memory taste less sour
when does it get sweeter

137

second place, silver trophy
a medal for doing well, but
not well enough
funny how validation weighs like
a chunk of metal around your neck
funny how time passes
seconds, ticking by
something just barely out of reach

136

some nights I dream up worlds
that are so close to the one I live
I’m not always sure which one
of us is awake

my life has encountered endless open doors
and ones I’ve closed by choice
if there is some almighty power
bigger than any of us
I hope each variation of myself
is living her variation of a dream

I wonder if she’s happy
I wonder if I am