mamma, is it so unusual that while you believe in angels, i believe in people?
here’s the truth: i am a bucket of bolts and hard tissue and i write better when it is raining and when i am aching. here’s the truth: i stick around for the people i love more frequently than i stick around for myself. here’s the truth: every person you meet forever changes you.
i think about this a lot, mamma. i think about this whenever i ride the train or buy groceries or stare up at the ceiling where we painted the soft y-shape of cancer’s constellation. i think about this and i do my best to make each meeting one that i am not ashamed of. i smile at every person i make eye contact with. i play pretend with preschoolers. i am the first to react to help someone.
so why is it so strange, mamma, that someone would be the first to hold my hands back from bruising my body. why is it that i give myself out like a christmas present but i can’t ask for help from anyone, why is it that when i say “they’re good for me,” your lips twist downwards like a leaf filling with too much water.
mamma, i swear i never meant to be a damsel, mamma, and i’m not. i’m just a dragon with her fire gone out, see, i’ve been trapped in cages and been clawing my way out of them, mamma, and i’m a little tired now, i just need somebody else to pull the splinters from the places i can’t reach, i just need a little push here and there, mamma, like how birds need a nudge to get out of their nest, i’m just like that, mamma, i know my wings could carry me but my body’s not convinced.
it’s the same how you always smile whenever daddy comes home, mamma, no matter how weary the day has made you. no matter how thick the skin of your palms get from hard work, you always touch him gently like he’s an orchid. it’s the same as how when us kids start getting crazy you look over to him as your grounding, it’s the same as how when you’re scared you take his hand and when you’re angry he’s who you vent to. see, mamma, us dragons need folk to shine our scales now and then. doesn’t mean we’re not capable of burning cities, mamma.
treasure don’t have to be gold. it can just be having someone waiting for you when you return to your den.
i’m sorry, mamma, but they make me strong and i love them.