ODE TO MY CHILDHOOD ROOM

So much of me is so much of you.

Even though I am far away,
no longer haunting your bubblegum walls,

sometimes, from a light year’s distance,
I wonder if you still feel me.

Do you remember when we wrote that first poem together?
An electrical surge. The circuits in my mind blew.
I didn’t mind the dark, though—I was the inventor of light.
You are where I learned how to believe in magic.

And do the typewriter keys ever mention my touch?
I want to apologize for the times I ran the ribbon dry
for people who never believed in me.
It wasn’t worth it.

Do you ever imagine the weight of my body,
my skin against your linen, the heaviness of sleep?
Sometimes, in a room that doesn’t know me,
I wish I were still small enough to fit everything I am
inside the safety of your four walls.
I wish I were still small enough to belong to you.

Innocence, where are you?

Can I find you tucked away under the box spring mattress
where I’ve stored scrapbooks of photographs
and dusted treasure chests of ghosts
I can’t bear to rummage through anymore?
I hope so.
I hope we can reunite one day.
I am so much braver than the girl who used to be yours.

OCTOBER

The season of death.

I watch as the trees begin
flaunting their skeletons,
abandoning their colors in piles
of ruined adolescence.
Those miserable beings,
they never seem to linger
past October, as if a hidden voice
in the wind convinces them to die–
a premature suicide pact forged
somewhere between summer and frost.

But for me,
October is no longer a reminder
of my own frailty.
I do not shrivel nor wilt.
I am, instead, resurrected,
reminded of the energy that has always burned
in the gaps between tendon and bone.
Rose floods my face from within,
a pink foliage gathered at the tops of my cheeks
and the tip of my nose.
A palette of resilience.
I defy the season by the very act
of choosing life.
Of witnessing the tragedy of the trees
and choosing not to fall for it.

Shivering to stay warm enlightens me–
something about the act of testing
my own insulation, the strength
of my skin, anything but fragile.
I made it to October this year.
Can you believe it?
Summer waves her white flag
in surrender, and I wave back.