Those of Mine

There was a boy in love with me

Disguised in his drawl with dirty teeth.

Found my brother, then saw me.

I’m afraid of what lurks in that eye’s sheath.

Somewhere he saw salvation.

But he mistook it for my lips.

For years he denied it with incantation.

Still we saw how he tried to win with chicken strips.

A decade in, chocolate and an online message.

It was straightforward, awkward, and without tact.

I agonized over knowing I loved him not.

What pains me most is how he must have hurt,

I always injured those interesting bugs my hair caught.

I’ve always known they came to my fold Because it was cold.

But I couldn’t help but sleep.

He was in too deep.

Now he can’t let go.

Dated a girl who looked like me.

I’ve seen him put up a show.

But I never wanted under his kissing tree.

And it’s grown to define him.

Just a year more to let go.

Stretched his skin too slim.

 

Here is a girl I could have been.

Unable to stay the fears.

To this day my best friend.

Too afraid to sing for cheers.

We changed so much for all that fuss.

I remember those days we couldn’t cuss.

When we didn’t admit to weeaboo shit.

And out of thirty we because a hit.

Now she plays games I forget.

And I marathon shows she’ll soon forget.

But I love her, in a way.

How she stumbles with each day.

We sleep in one bed when together.

Our bodies form a heart in rainy weather.

Without her I’d never have anyone close enough.

Tears easy and quick.

Foregoing needing to act tough.

Just like a gentle nose flick.

Our fears seem so small in the vast dark of a bed.

 

Here is a man I now regret

The one I looked to in times of pain

tears trailing down baby pudge cheeks

Curls in his hair I tugged and

eyes that swallowed fears like the sea

Maybe it was because he was my father

but to me he made no mistakes

His temper was long and winding

Patient for years and laugh lines kind

No one man is everything you need and

that was a truth I barely dared believe

but child’s eyes disguised his lies

the cruel humor and elitist behavior

Even now I hesitate to see a man

More complete than him

but he is just a man and

because of that he taught me hate and fear

make no mistake he never wanted to harm

but there is a halflife on Daddy’s charm

 

Here is a woman I miss

The one who held me close

and bought my forgiveness

in soft toys and loving kisses

but she and I were just too different

she says I’m just like her

but all I see is how she tries to mold me

into the fears she has

the hoarding of things

fat and attention and objects

all bundled up close

so the good love can’t get through

and the inability to change

wound tight in her heavy breast

at least she wants me happy

but she forgets that happiness is not a new shirt

or a college close to home

and that people don’t just like one gender

or that not wanting sex isn’t sad

and she says

“We’d support you If you were gay, you know?”

Oh I know but being gay

isn’t all that’s out there and

that’s all she thinks exists

ignoring the cries in your daughters eyes

that she’s not a broken thing and

she isn’t wrong

with fear in dark pupils of

therapists that don’t believe either so

I have learned to lie precisely

my voice no longer shakes over the phone

if I’m in tears

 

Here is the brother I defend

He’s not perfect

He never has been

but he was always mine

he was always the one to love me

first and accept who I think I am

even at my worst

so when somebody bullies him

I stand up with iced fury

and watch as they back off

quiet fear in their eyes

even at my small stature

but I hear him

indignant cries denying his need

of a protector

Maybe he doesn’t but

I just want to return his love

in the only way I know how

because I may be tiny and flighty

but for him I will be mighty

I should look pathetic,

I think standing there in front of

a bulking man eyes cool with fury and

hands loosely twirling my hair

but they’ve always left well enough alone

maybe a long time ago

I let loose my fury and they still remember

not to mess with her

except him which is as it should be

he’s the one who saved me every time

and brought me home

I still remember his shame

at breaking my crown

at the time it hurt

but the scar was wicked cool

and then his strength is forever part of me

felt with every brush stroke

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