love ; child

When I was fifteen, I clasped my hands
over my stomach and dreamed about
my child—
no, I’ve never been pregnant,
like I’ve never been in love,
like I’ve never been at peace,
but those don’t always
go hand in hand,
and most nights I still dream of holding a daughter
and kissing the demons from her cheeks.

When I was young,
no one told me, You are safe,
so I crawled from corner to corner
of my tiny black room,
tasting ghosts.
When I was young,
an old man held me the morning he died,
so I wore his skin on my skin
and his breath on my neck,
and no one told me, You are not cursed.

I took fifteen slow years
to crawl out of the hole
I was not buried in;
I arrived on dry land with dirt caked
beneath my fingernails,
carrying the ghost of my childhood
between my shoulder blades.
I was not home.
Home had long crumbled like a shack
on a cliff,
so I carved my own heaven into the rock,
tied a rope to the sun
and raised it myself.

And now I still dream,
dream of my daughter
and of the nightmares
that will flow off her back like water
but will never stick,
dream of the ghosts that will haunt the corners
like bats, but never fly—
because I will always keep the lights on.

Every morning, when she opens her eyes,
I will kiss her temples and whisper,
You are blessed,
and she will taste the sunlight,
and she will be at peace.

i feel like i should somewhat explain that i’m not uncomfortable with friendly affections or caring natures. i’m just so bad at comforting people that i completely eat dirt and feel really impersonal.

avalanchc !

          it’s the end of third period when she finally shows up to class, crutches clacking on the tiled floor and her late pass crinkled in her hand. very smiles sheepishly as she walks in, knowing she’s disrupted the lesson. people give her looks of concern and she almost wants to crawl into a hole so no one can see her. “i fell down the stairs walking up to my apartment yesterday.” she tries to laugh, gesturing to the brace on her foot. she moves back to her seat beside levi, not making eye contact. “silly me.”