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