it was in the summer cricket of her voice
the gentle hug and hold of words
where i found a mother in her heartache
in the truth of bodies making love and falling apart into each other
theres truly no way to unlove this memory of us, she tells me of my father
of missing him in my smile--some days it hurts so bad
that you can never forget, never melt away this love no matter the fist thrown, the belt buckle flung, the boomerang of insult lightening
there is no fire flammable enough to burn a heart given to him into ash, into a past
and she gave me the kind of advice, the kind of listening i believed never capable
deemed impossible in moments i remember most yelling into the telephone
walking over a highway, streetlight of tears shimmering on my face
i've adopted abuse like a step-in dad, worn its dimples
like a favorite shirt.
its a shame it took so long to hear her call me beautiful, call me a work of art
for her to see the mirror in me, the careful fracture and bend in my soul
to realize, i was never a mistake.
and even so
i am not a mistake.
i do not come in and out of your life for the sheer nature of passing moments.
we are not meant to be reminders of what we do not have
but what we make together, in the midst of what is not ours
and i will love you like a listened-to heartbeat, will learn how to love you
the way my mother never learned to live, to be captivated and held
to be treated like a memory worth having...