Age [life to date in words]

don’t remember
first being alive
dad says I took
a deep breath and stared
at them, confused look, scared eyes
cried, “why did you bring me here?”
i hide in the closet, pretend to sleep
i’m a cowboy, like the ones in the wallpaper
a character in a book or on stage, i’m certain
i swear god hates me, and mommy is god, i think
nobody came to my birthday party, she didn’t send out my invitations
said i should’ve planned ahead, it’s my fault, that’s why she slapped me
cracked my head on the counter, let my friend drag me to my room
away from her, that fucking bitch, she ran the dryer with my cat inside, accident?
“it’s the cat’s fault, stupid cat! anyway, she’ll probably die, just wanted to let you know”
it’s graduation, i’m grown up now, you can’t take my keys and you can’t have my money
i’m dying and i know it, i have to get out before i kill myself all the way
i made a friend, and he doesn’t tell me i’m always right but he listens to everything i say
i’m stubborn, though, I want to be right and everyone else to be wrong, the world is a
terrible place
and i don’t believe my friend when he tells me he loves me and its okay to feel however i
i don’t need to hide, he promises me it’s better outside, I know he’s safe but i don’t know
who I am
i promise the little girl hiding in the dark it’s safe to come out, i tell her i’m sorry for leaving
her alone
“liar!” i can hear her crying in my head and i don’t know how to fix us, i’m terrified i’m just
like my mom
i find out what letting go is, that hope exists and love is free and there are safe people and
i’m not worthless, i’m priceless

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