it’s hard to say when it started:
when they fed me black tea with milk
at 6 pm when I was only 8, or
the thought of it; I saw
an elegance in the way my aunt’s neck
bent to meet the lighter,
maraud about the backyard barbeque
with a red Irish Rose smile
in a blond bob wig and tan,
        even with thin hair, we can succeed
or when I felt the burn of
it in my chest for the first time;
the clear fire and courage
to approach
anyone, anything
with gumption.

it’s not sympathy I’m asking
for but an understanding
you can’t possibly imagine
unless you live it.
we are born with it:
the constant want,
desire to be both content
and normal, but also elevated
in euphoria even while
just grocery shopping,
feeling a tingle as you
palm the tomato,

yes, yes
tonight will be excellent.


but you can always make it better.


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