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

135

when you win, you make a speech
thanking the ones who supported you
you’re supposed to be humble in your poise
you’re supposed to smile

there are some trophies you earn
that never have a ceremony
no round of applause

does success still count
if there is no fanfare?

at what point
does a table for one
fill a room?

134

I’ve had dreams of alternate worlds
cotton candy clouds and magical hillsides
where things go upside down on thursdays
and there’s no wifi on sundays

my feet will one day plant on uneven ground
and find strength to grow
even amidst strangeness

133

there are these moments
that have passed, but
never really left us
entrenched in who we are
and who we’re becoming

we drive along dirt roads,
resisting the urge to race raindrops
flying against the windshield
we see boxed birthday cake mix
and can’t justify buying it because
it’s no one’s birthday

these moments in our lives
times we did or did not
we discover profound truths
that we are defined by what
we let happen to us

that every single life has value
that every day is worth celebrating
with a boxed birthday cake

132

we’re feeling closer than ever before
greeting hellos in distant passing
an acknowledgement of an external fight
we’re fighting inside

there’s no blood on the streets
and the lights illuminate every window
we’re living a history book, real time
we talk so much about nothing at all
we ask about each other’s day
and mean it

131

play me that song you like
the one where we dance in April rain
let’s be restless through the night
aloof in summer linen

and when we feel out of sorts
we’ll wear our blues and
remember every line
I’ll gaze as your lip curls,
crescent moon

130

the youthful glow
a ray of sun
bursting through the sill
egg’s yolk spilling
soaking into burnt toast
the back of my hand is
warm from the sunlight
the cutlery reflects
right into my eyes
my father spoons another helping onto my plate