You circle around me like girls in the schoolyard,
with taunts of ‘I don’t want you, I don’t want you;’
but I know that my mother loves me, and as much
as your words hurt me, my heart still beats whole.

Your mother did not give you forever. You count the chips in
cookies as the demonstration of the love that she could
find in one of twelve. You watched as the boy across the street
was sent off with a kiss- that stored away in to you.

You charge, you don’t need to be taken care of as if embattled,
on the defensive, unable to look love in the eye and take it;
know that when needed, wagons will circle, weapons drawn,
no part of the perimeter possibly penetrated. I can take it,

for you who led me on to a love that unbalanced me,
one that exploded across my expression, my smile,
my everything that anyone could figure out to see;
and I could not block anyone from seeing you in me.

I know now after you’ve healed from disappointment
and after I have wiped your brow of the residue,
you look to the other girls, the ones from your past
that waft like whispers reminding you of a former strength.

I don’t stand a chance against something that isn’t real time.
You’ll manufacture present with rosied leftovers.
I don’t have that need, I don’t have that desire, I don’t,
for now is what I long for: moments, minutes, hours.

And I will dream vividly as the present gives us that,
not haunts of the past, or fear of what’s around the corner.
Oh, I do have ghosts, and I let them talk to me when they appear,
but they cannot claim me as my spirit moves swiftly forward.

And so in this movement, I will live. I will do. I will try
to contain, restrain, wrassle all of the ideas of how I can still
keep watch. Knowing how to love wholly. How to lift up and
find what is best about the man who does not know how.

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