Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Iliana on your 18th birthday

i dont remember how i spent my 18th birthday
not what i ate
or the company i kept
and i find all of this disrespectful of this day
and how much i wish you were here long enough to forget milestones like i have

i also remember very little of my high school graduation
those kinds of things seem to slip out of me
the way water fell to the ground
every moment has its own constant
mine comes in water
a forever reminder of my own infinity

but you will not forget a day that never came
and we will not forget the way that lack
strikes us in the space between ribcage and chest

you were barely 11 years old
the sunday we sent you off on the clef of a song
i was 15
and trying to stay still enough to sing
my father is good at these moments
pouring metaphor over melody in an attempt to delay the sting
but tonight i wonder
if he remembers the way your father waled the lyrics to the days of my youth
i wonder if he knew that song would forever conjure your face
and leave me silent
and wanting nothing to do with beauty

there is no new way to say goodbye
so tonight
i play songs that make me uncomfortable
that make me remember
make me see your mother and father
and mine
and a pastor
who i realize now is no longer here
because some milestones will surely slip through my mind like molten silver
but i hold you
and those voices
and those hands close and tight in the ducts of my eyes
and i slow the faucet of falling sadness to make sure i have some to keep
some of you, and the 15 year old version of myself
re-realizing morality
and injustice

i do all of this
to be sure
that you will not leave
not again
that i will not
let you go
without a piece to keep

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