Exaggerated Honey and Other Poems

Exaggerated Honey

Once there was nobody left to love
a family had me.

My mother made a steeple with her hands
that folded open to reveal no people.

Show me again, I said. Tell me again
not to talk to strangers.

The hospital lights across the street
taught me to stay awake in my own company.

Later I asked strangers to take my hand
across. I used to think I hated where I came from

and would leave, that children elsewhere
found safety in freedom, but there is no fire

anywhere I am capable of rubbing.
I am not mother enough to tolerate

creating my own heat, not human enough
to gather close to what’s untouchable.

Call me complaint. Call me honey you exaggerate.
When my family laughs in the hallway

I laugh with my hair thrown back to the ground
like I understand them. Just to be answered,

I take it as seriously as the dead
or a bridge to nowhere. But what loss on earth

would I honestly like to stay for? And life
is no better, thank god. It also keeps us.
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