saying a little before you wake #poem

not sure i’m going to ever know who it was worse for

only that it hurt, more than you can imagine

the parents who fought

the series of lies

the drunken rages my mother flew into

age 8 is when the hypervigilance sets in

the shyness, the constant scan for terror, terrifying to a child

non-constancy, abandonment

perpetual fear

13 years is too long Valdez said once

for you, or for me

and now it’s fourteen

for a long time I thought that it was my fault

but it wasn’t, he did just what he wanted

as all of us do

until last night and then when you said it, it was music

and I said

I’m not missing it, not missing you for the world

that not even my fear of being hurt again

could stop this much release, this much bottled laughter

mirth rising volcanic

the virginal wasteland like a pure snowdrift

to the hilt again

up love alley

I don’t know how you fell from the sky like a petal

but I never felt this able

this open

this much dream

after awhile

you learn that people aren’t going to hurt you

you differentiate bad from good

the drunks around the table Valdez kept

they weren’t my class

I couldn’t stay

the body shuts like a mechanism after love like that

can’t permit things lesser than

out of the sky a petal fell

you don’t have to be afraid

that’s all you need to know

the best thing that was ever said came last night for no reason

like a clear running stream

like water in a rapids

like the plunge into clear

I took it like a shiny penny

the kind you toss into fountains

you can’t help that you were born that way

that a million women would crash and burn at your feet

or a million men

or that you’d be tender to extremes


all I can tell you is I’m not missing it

I wouldn’t miss you for the world

if you meant that







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