You didn’t encourage me to write or let me know I could do it
you told me; you can’t spell
you don’t speak any language well
you have split ends and are at times
manic like a dervish without charm
but you’re always on time, good at lifting heavy things
maybe you should organize talented people’s lives
because you don’t have any of your own …
talent that is.
I didn’t listen. Not because I didn’t believe you
Oh I did. I inhaled the knife.
Sometimes the road will hurt like a thousand feet
trodden on your back, weighing your down
but what can you lose?
Still not speaking any language perfectly
you may hate me … but I?
I send you love and I send you love
because that’s all I have.
I remember the year
I found a rabbit on my window ledge
celebrating six months of not wetting the bed
I had peed into nightmares wondering
if you would ever return, but you never did
though you may be surprised
I gained strength through that pain
even when you think I am weak in my ways
I see the courage in being able to feel
the toughness it takes to love when you are not loved in return
because I still can’t spell and you laughed at me and said
what writer can you be if you don’t know
your pronouns from your iambic pentameter?
Hemmingway. Austin. Oh I can name a hundred …
But I learned anyway and by then it didn’t matter
because you’d already made your pronouncement and left
your wet umbrella still propped by the door.
I thought of all those souls like me
who were not taught words of light
instead the dark shroud of incessant criticism
who did not learn how to believe in themselves
recalling all the reasons you gave
for why I will always be a failure and a disappointment
then I wrote it down
poured myself onto a page
not always perfectly groomed
with the savagery of one who has
felt so much and loved so hard
in the glaring halo of afternoon
where yellow turns to indigo