Even if You Can't

Not because your fingers don’t twitch as you shove them in your pockets, hungry under the nails for my skin. Not because my eyes don’t darken as I spit, through my sneer, words that make a quietly satisfying plink against the tears pacing just behind your waterlines. Not because I’ve never drawn blood or tears or plucked embarrassment or faith right out from between your ribs with the intent of sticking gum in its hair or cutting its favorite Osh-Kosh night gown into pale-pink-with-dragonfly pieces. Or because I’ve never looked around nervously as I crouched by your pile of Christmas stocking candy and stuffed a pack of ice-breakers into my shirt.

Not because I haven’t written filthy, ungrateful things about you in diaries not well enough hidden. Not that I have never been a two-year-old in a seventeen-year-old body and slammed my door against your better knowledge as I stomped the mushroom-brown carpet into gothy teenage hell-pit tracks. Or because I’ve never felt wronged by you just for bringing me to life – for donating the space inside your aching belly to my use for 9 odd months and your breasts to my chubby, rolling 10 pound body– because I feel like an unworthy accident even though I have always known that I am loved.

Not because I haven’t been at least one of the deciding factors to ship us to different parts of the world. Not because you haven’t assured me enough times that it is not my fault, that I am forgiven, and that you know exactly how it feels to look out a window and see absolutely nothing and loose tears inscribed with absolutely everything. Not that I haven’t moped around on one of your last remaining days with us and said I didn’t want to do anything and then complain about how my boredom is eating my face.

Or because I’ve never drawn my skin a little bit grayer than normal and my freckles on last because I wanted to make sure the flowers around my head would look good as I lay in my coffin. Or because I’ve never hated myself enough to think that atoning for my sins in secret, in blood down the shower drain or in Unisom and Aspirin and crappy boxed Chardonnay, would make things any better.

Not that I didn’t feel awful because of it all.

Not that I don't feel awful because of it all.


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