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April 22, 2018

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4
If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Bring me to the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

We joke that our hallways were built by prison architects.
It’s actually true, which makes it funnier when we complain about the evolution-fearing agenda of the Texas Board of Education…

I was born on a fence.
I love my skin, but I don’t understand it. Not bleach, not gold, occasionally green, thanks for the clear labeling, sunlight mom and A4 paper dad.
I chase porcelain girls on the screen the way predators predate
    but I scratch their images with my eyes, sniffing for steel.
I wish my hands would grow as big as my body so I can stop relying on boys to envelop all of me and learn how to do it myself,
not to hide but to take myself in my arms the way my parents did at 2:15 PM in a Thursday hospital bed and gave me a name.
Names are the basis of all magic.
Hexes, blessings, talismans becoming symbols for concepts so that our boxy minds can comprehend our liminal lives in our revolving finite arena in the spacetime continuum.
That’s why we buy the shiver of belonging in the package
of a movie scene,
two lovers on the bed of a truck,
pointing between our eyes and
naming constellations.
That’s why the equation of I love you cannot last unless you and I
are two snapshot memories and the equal sign of our love
stays static between our skin
or unless we recognize things will never stay the same
and love is a single bond, as malleable as the alloy of us
over a candle flame.
I want a name.
of my own, that’s the problem: we’ve evolved to give each other names
like “danger” “safer” “home” “uncontainable” to stay alive
we forget to name ourselves
and the magic walks away, and I can’t chase it down.
I lost two legs when morning became day
and by evening, it’ll be gone
riddling me with holes of belonging
and by then my body might be riddled as well
and my hands are too small to stop the bullets from coming
if I point into the clouds during class
and name a man with a gun…
I’ll be staring at my perforated bleach, gold, and green defenses
hoping some names will geyser out of these holes
wishing I could see the evening shadows hit my fence.

Let me escape these hallways in time for me to find myself.
Let me be running towards my spotlight, not away from the eye of a hurricane shot blast
Let me learn what it means to be a girl who moves through time in waves, not snapshots
I am light, flight, fight, night I am
Goddess almighty please let me make more
of this world I was given before it can
take itself away on a conveyor belt to thoughts and jesusfucking prayers seriously enough with the prayers
let me find Earth to be the better place
than any Earth you give me in which these guns walk free
in hallways built by prison architects.

But if I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Bring me to the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song
Italicized lyrics are from "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry

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