I love them in museums, on buses, sitting compact
in trains and on airplanes, running their fingers
through their hair, drunk at parties, stumbling home,
long-limbed and full of awkward grace, boys, yes,
lay on top of me or lay beside me, breathe light into
my ear. I love them angry and confrontational or soft
and philosophical. I want to curl up inside of them,
read their palms, make them pasta and bread
from scratch. I love them kissing me in the backseat
of a taxi cab or alone on the street corner, lost,
trying to find their way home. I love their throats,
their knobby elbows, their spines beneath a soft
cotton shirt. I love them at home, poised readily
over my Keurig, asking which flavor, if I want sugar.
I love their hands in my hair, undoing the braid,
fingernails to my scalp, yes, more, please don’t stop.
I love them in doorways, at the grocery store among
the cereals and unpronounceable cheeses; I love them
at night, pale shadows under lampposts, walking
away from me and into the men they’re going to be.
We try to love what cannot be tamed. Wild horses,
clear vodka in shapely bottles, angry men and the things
they carry. We have done what we could. They say
anything they can to justify leaving. That we are
always sad. That we have let our hearts burn out
for lesser things than them. They accuse us of being
too sad to love. We’re not sure where we’ve learned
this, to want the things we know we can’t have.
We put on a dress, any dress. Lick our black lips,
pin up our hair. We have learned to kiss boys
with our tongues in the dark. They say after,
there is fire in our breath when we sleep. Chances are,
we are all the same, riding high on velvet blue nights.
Our weaknesses have names and phone numbers,
addresses we can send anonymous letters to,
detailing our escape. We are praying for sixteen again,
for tulle and prom dresses and clear skin and boys
who still have to ask to hold our hands. They say
they can find us by our cheekbones, that they are
small, miraculous sources of light. We’re doomed
without our mothers. Sometimes we’re safe
but usually we’re not. The crime scene tape
should have been your first clue.
It’s better to have nobody than someone who is half there, or who doesn’t want to be there.
—Angelina Jolie (via soulsscrawl)