I wonder if I’ll ever learn to spell the word receipt
without having to google it first,
if I’ll find the courage to pull back the curtain
and enter into the uncertainties of my life
without burying my eyes in my mother’s shoulders,
without her first telling me it’s safe, it’s okay,
spread your wings, little bird,
I’ll catch you.
Someday she won’t be there when I fall,
but I can’t think about this,
or I’ll never leave her side, I’ll never
see just how big and round the world can be,
I’ll never feel the gentle embrace
of the clouds.
I am going away in two months
to learn, to find myself,
and I can feel the change stretching towards me,
its long fingers beckoning over the horizon.
I am ready for it; I am waiting.
Soon I’ll be a queen among queens,
adorned in our newfound knowledge and freedom.
We will not be too proud to curtsy to each other,
nor too afraid to step into the spotlight,
and even if our mommas are missing from our new city,
we will find a way to call it home.
But I will not forget where I came from;
I will wear the trash I was born in like a second skin,
and when people ask how I got to be so smooth,
I will speak of the jagged edges, the way they sanded me down,
the way the pieces chipped off and how I stepped out of them
like a masterpiece rising from a marble block.
I decided when I was 8 years old
that I was going to tell stories, my stories,
and this way I could be both human and immortal,
always alone and yet never without someone
who would let me rest my head on their shoulder.
Nobody’s really listening, not yet,
but sometimes when I shout loud enough,
I see somebody’s ears perk up,
and I know that they are slowly getting used
to the sound of my voice.
Someday they will hear me even when I whisper.
They will listen to me,
and they will see that the world is a fairytale,
and they will decide that they are going to tell stories, their stories,
and I will have touched a life, strengthened wings.
I wonder if I’ll ever learn to stop worrying
about the things I can’t control.
I didn’t expect growing older
to be so hard, so painful.
Some days I nearly destroy myself with fear.
I am so scared of the future that I shake,
I keep myself awake at night,
I cry until I throw up.
There is nothing I can do
about the red X’s on the calendar,
but I hide beneath my blanket,
and I watch them multiply,
I watch them take over a whole month,
I see them flash when I close my eyes.
Tomorrow I will start over again.
The beauty of life is in the beginnings,
and even if I start each day the same,
there will be thousands of new things
to do and see and touch and eat and say and be
before I go to sleep.
So I refuse to be unhappy today,
and I refuse to be unhappy tomorrow.
If the darkness finds me,
it will find me laughing, with the sun in my mouth
and the moon in my eyes,
my skin glowing soft blue and yellow.
Even after I’m dead,
flowers will grow from the soil where my body once was,
and my light will never flicker;
my light will never fade.