This is not a poem about love,
this is not a poem about pretty things.
This is a poem about the time I fell from the seat of my bicycle
onto pavement and watched my knees bleed.
This is a poem about.
Have you ever held your fingers back towards your wrists just to see
how long you could last the pain, just too see how far they would bend?
I had a friend who would clench her fingers into her fists like she was
angry, as if inside her fists, she held the universe, crumpled, like a piece
of paper and if she let go, she would see the mess she had made.
I wanted to tell her: “Your fists don’t hold the universe,
that is what hearts are for. Your fingers are for smearing
love across another person’s chest like a child at an easel
except too many of us buy the cheap kind of watercolors,
the kind that stain our clothes and our fingers but never
the canvas. Too many of us think this is all paint-by-numbers.”
I wanted to tell her
that if she opened her fists,
her palms could house a pool
large enough for all the stars
but small enough to swim across
small enough for all the things that mattered.
I’ve tried bending my fingers backwards just to see how far
they would bend,
to see how long I could last the pain but maybe,
I was trying to smear love across my own arms for once."