Your happiness used to have a front seat in my life
I have stretched myself wide to make space
for you to have a smile that lasts
One day you’ll look back
and ask how you could’ve been so foolish
to let me slip away
and use me as a template
to teach your children how to be gold
After failed attempts to vomit your discomfort
You crawl back to yourself
and wait for your words to perform surgery on you
Something has been breaking off inside you
You are made of your mother’s resilience
and your father’s quiet sturdiness
You do not understand why your body cannot shake this off.
Savior complex tied up with fear of vulnerability
and a poor diet is another way of dying
There are no smart guides for dummies who
should know better than to try fixing themselves
You should know better
to make room for faith to be sang back to you
Everybody needs saving
even Jesus had God.
A love recipe hangs down my mother’s neck
She loves without needing to refer
Because muscle memory and regularity
has synced her heart with her mind
and made her a metaphor for softness.
Whenever pain blurs the shape of love
I look at her and remember to breathe
My parents love in sepia
A thing brewed from the slow decay of a new sprout
Seasoned and mature enough to have a feeling named after it;
Teaching me that decay is not always synonymous to rot –
Only a point on the growth curve.
Because this brown has seen tender and folded
This brown has been foolish and free
This brown has feigned sufficiency to make way for enough
This brown with its share of pain and scars,
Knows how to love the glow out of any sun
I have been fretting over things that God shakes his head at
Toying with faith as if it were a disappearing act;
One minute I’m full of it,
the next, I don’t exactly know the shape of it
I fret over now and tomorrow
Giving myself and God a headache.
Spoon feed myself faith,
And come up hungry again.
I have taken up all the space on my mother’s prayer sheet
And the happiness of those I love takes up all of mine.
At the end of day we’re both in God’s ears
Saying let it be
After every free speech
I’ve been speaking to God about you.
Told him you’ve been wearing apathy
as a defense against loss
Loss of love,
Loss of control,
Loss of the innocent child you used to be.
Told him the way you create distance
to test the elasticity of bonds is breaking my heart,
And breaking yours too,
even if you refuse to accept it.
Told him you carry nonchalance like a chronic cough,
Shackle meanness to your tongue
and only put it back in your mouth after it has lashed out.
I’ve been speaking to God about you
And even tho he knows I’m full of complaints
He lets me ramble to sooth my restless mind
We are self-serving droids
Put together and let lose to thrive without a manual
We pronounce ourselves miracles
When without fail,
We pry and poke and detangle our way through