I didn’t forget this place, I didn’t forget myself
I have been putting myself on pause while I fill my hands with everything else
sometimes it wells up in me, this voice
sometimes I let myself spill everywhere and then I catch myself
I am sheepish, I mop it up
and wait for when I can exist again, when everyone stops looking at me
when I no longer think of myself as a spill
after I do the work, once I’ve said the words everyone wants me to say
but I wonder
which words will convince them
that they can’t have my words?
I am mine. I am my own.
they shake their heads at me, and I lie about my weariness
i don’t have it in me to be angry
I only have a resigned knowing. I am only a sigh, I am not a roar.
I don’t want to be, anyway.
I pretend at anger and look around me for approval
I tell my secrets into the mud and pretend
that the reeds aren’t whispering them back
I’ve never been allowed to be my own
who would give me the permission?
the problem isn’t me
it isn’t in the way I love
it isn’t in my openness, my willingness to try, my readiness to abandon my protections
for a shot at something good
they tell me to lock my doors
someone should have left their doors unlocked for me
and maybe then I wouldn’t have settled
into the first house that welcomed me
maybe I wouldn’t have been so ready to call it my home
I was so easily outwitted
I don’t love with my wits
I tell you: I love with my bones!
and you say I have to stop doing that
I am not going to stop doing that