to (some of) the girls who built me up with clay
from sippy cups
and playground days:
1. flower girl in the yellow shorts: you are the softest shade of self and
i want to paint masterpieces from
your unapologetic way of living. let’s drive away next year to the city that chose us. of all the girls i have scoured for my reflection, i see the most of myself in you. whisper to me the ways you scare and disappoint yourself, i bet our shame and secrets are the same.
ii. fierce girl of foreign tongue: you came to us jagged from the times they broke you and scarred from the times you tried to break yourself. inject me with your courage the way you infect me with your laughter; loud opinions look good on you and i want to try them on too. most of all i love how you taught yourself to be gentle. i know it was hard to yank off the armour you welded yourself into but i hope the feeling of our love against your bare skin is worth it.
iii. girl i have loved longest: among the jewels of the world you shine brighter than all. i think kindness must be stitched deep into your soul. here is a small slice of advice (crumbs in comparison to the bakery of wisdom you offered me over cups of earl grey tea): it is not your job to save any person except yourself. you have a gift for bandaging wounds, but first pick the glass out of your own cuts. remember there are leeches out there who will cry until they suck you dry. old friend, you are not a sponge, you were made for more than soaking up the woes of others. say no when you have to, scream if it that’s what it takes to be heard.
iv. butterfly girl fluent in words and numbers, english and equations: i’m sorry that i did not get to know you better, did not hold you closer. we’ve known each other for over two thirds of our lives but for the most part we stayed on the fringes of friendship. you were always quiet. i know silence too, i understand it well. but here is a pact that should be spoken: as we forge a path into this strange new world, let us discover what it is not to hide behind the tongues of friends. let us not close our hearts and mouths out of fear.
v. enigmatic girl with the changing hair and restless heart: during my mole months i did not see daylight until i received you message. (are you okay? i miss you) i never told you but you were the only reason i left the house that week. thank-you, girl whose love folds along the equator. i always envied your ability to belong anywhere. but one humid night you admit to me that you feel lost, adrift. torn between two people who want to hurt each other almost as much as they want to love you. please know that no matter how far and long you run you will always have a home in me.
vi. tiny girl with the mile-a-minute voice: how the letters and days twist together when you are close. i love you for the way my laughter spills out, ugly and loud, when you talk. i love how deeply you care, how some memories etch themselves into the back of your skull. i did not know such passion could be contained in the entire cosmos - never mind in your elfin vessel.
vii. brilliant girl with the world at your feet: please throw me the scraps from your life. you are the most beautiful creature i have ever beheld but that is the least of your accomplishments. is there anything you can’t do? teach me to speak like you, stitch like you, write like you, think like you, challenge myself like you, work like you, love like you. you could soar so high on the wings you built yourself, you could see things we could never dream up. my only request is that you don’t lose sight of me, waving from the tallest hill i can climb.
viii. fire-hot girl with the ice-cold eyes: you were the final one to join our circle and you made it whole. your jokes have a bite, your compliments have a kick. you could make the sun orbit you, you could make the stars rearrange themselves for the chance to shine on you. saturated girl, i know how hard it is to allow for vulnerability, to tell someone you care. sincere love is throwing yourself off a cliff and trusting the waves to cradle you, but believe me, nothing else compares.
to my eight sisters, thank-you for our seven days, thank-you for our six years // L.H.