my mother seemed to think that the most feasible way to live would be through a penniless existence.
she’d say to me: baby, you will never know peace until you have stripped yourself naked,
until you have carved yourself into the shape of a man’s side, because the empire of your skin
teaches you more than one way to rule & fit.
she’d say listen: you’ll find meaning when you reflect and refract the tenderness of life that shapes your belly,
and communicate its variance after you’ve stretched yourself thin,
the philosophy of skinned knees,
2 am fights over broken curfews,
failure of recognition when becoming the embodiment of statistics,
the taste of dawn after a night of wrestling bed sheets, the taste of moulding food
because you were too tired to cook dinner last night,
collapsing under the influence of stoned music,
resisting the urge to let your blood breathe after finding a buried box-cutter,
skydiving into the lust of atmosphere, burning in the face of
the art of opening up, the tao of loathing once-were-loves,
your first pet’s last breath, glossed eyes under rare moons,
the round of death chasing its own clock,
the chase, train-wrecked hearts beating excommunicated railroad dreams,
giving time away because he needed it, she needed it
giving love away because he needed it, she needed it, but not ever
for the promise of return:
you once told me to leave plastic flowers by your grave, so that you wouldn’t have to experience death twice over.
you once told me that the vessel of these vitrified heartstrings would be enough
to skate over worldly affairs and find the point of release that will lift the stress of babylon
and all that came to be.
you once held my hand through six years of unease,
and taught me the real definition of pricelessness.