So if your problems are seeds and I swallow them
will I grow something beautiful? Or just pretend
to be all right as I’m imploding. There’s no way of knowing.
I suppose my grave could be a garden – and that’s complicated,
but it might be better than carving headboards from
broken bones of men I’ve known
and strangers on the street who I have loved,
who I have cried for as their children
slam the door on their car. Behind the closed doors of loveless houses.
I have always been an extremist. As a child I would mourn
closed restaurants, for the hurt feelings of the owners
who set up shop and were unsuccessful. I would cry over stoplights
smashed during thunderstorms, over worms drying in the sun
and over the sun itself, setting every night, saying goodbye to me
though I begged it to stay.
My mom called it empathy. I called it pain,
but years later I’ve gained a little more insight. Tonight, when you call me,
I will not ignore it. I think that the more I close my lips
the darker it gets inside of me. I need to let the light in. And I will swallow your sadness like diamonds,
like the pills I take every morning to stop the panic attacks.
As for the worms on the sidewalks, and the birds and the people and the dogs who have suffered today, every day,
the sun holds a glorious funeral for them when she sets.
She is on my side.
I will not pray for you.