there are twenty four ribs
that supposedly protect
your heart from damage,
but i swear you know
the precise location of
each 4 cm gap, know
how to nick the arteries
and slip into my circulation,
virtually undetected until
the x-rays show you
lighting up my body
like a christmas tree.
One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with one’s words.
I felt a tremendous distance between me and everything real.
Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?
To be able to talk to your heart’s content about a book you like with someone who feels the same way about it is one of the greatest joys that life can offer.
Even now I’m not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I’ve gotten from books.
Don’t worry. The acne will go away, sort of.
You will stop fighting with your sisters when they go
to college. This will be because of two things: your inability
to steal their clothing and the realization
that they are older, cooler versions of you. Your bully
will end up shaving her head and going to jail
or she will become a lawyer and have a nice car
and six babies. You will have no idea. You will forget
what she looks like, remember her the way
one remembers a splinter. You will stop
loving sharp things. You will learn how to make
your bed without being forced or threatened.
You will break up with your high school
sweetheart. I know, this is a surprise
but trust me. It is the right thing.
Yes, he loves you but it is a smothering love,
the way a dog nurses an open wound, all bared teeth
and tongues. When you leave him,
it will not feel like crushing a light bulb
in your hand — more like slowly, so slowly,
removing glass from inside your palm.
For years after him, you will let your heart
hang open like a soup kitchen. This is not
a bad thing, more a lesson in proportions.
After graduation, you will change a hundred
times over, like a revolving door, a waterfall.
One day, you will learn how to give
and receive love like an open window
and it will feel like summer every day.
One day, everything will make sense.