My arrows catch / nothing but air.
I’ve been missing since I was bird bones. I write my small poems about spools of red
string. I try to turn back time with my fingertips — they touch you like tongues. I always
made you a little bit uncomfortable, didn’t I?
There was nothing I could give you /
I was soil — you wanted air.
There’s some truth to the way I’ve been held, I’m sure. Some truth to a mother’s love — a father’s rage. Some truth to a boy, to several boys, and their clumsy hands. So when I give you stories, I write them as fiction. They’re not untrue — it’s just too difficult to be sure if I’m the protagonist or antagonist.
When you kissed me, you told me the narrator doesn’t have to be either.
But I was a girl in a bed, and I was a girl in a car, and I was a girl in a midnight aisle pushing an old steel cart that only turned left.
Sometimes my heart only turns left, too
and it takes hours just to go in a
circle and end up back where I
If I had to /
I could’ve killed you /
don’t doubt that /
just because I would’ve /
kissed you first.
It’s easy enough to confuse two letters.
It’s easy enough to claim love.
So, if I was red flames — if I was fire — so if I
was the narrator — so if I was enough for once
in my life… I’m not sure what I meant by that. I
say words like anti-hero in my mind, words like
trope and truth — there’s some truth, I’m sure, to
the way I hold you.
I was born to my father’s hands, my father’s lacking. I was born to my mother’s inconsistencies, to her apologies, to her fleeting and youth. I grew to the men who believed in my beauty like a broken thing, like an old car you had to kick-start again and again.
It was easier to let
them believe I was
My arrows only catch nothing but air
because I want them to.
One day that could change.
One day that will change.