Stepping Stones, part 1

i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.

 

i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.

 

i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.

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Motorcycle Reflections/021217

It’s like running in the wind and the cool night air.
And I can feel your body-heat between my thighs;
that’s how I know I could never ride with someone who didn’t love me.
The city lights look so beautiful,
and I’ve seen them before.
I’ve seen them before,
but not like this.
Every stop sign, the warmth of the engine escapes into my jacket.
Not everyone who rides dies.
And I guess that’s why
it’s not “ride and die,”
but “ride or die”
because could we ever really live
if motor oil didn’t flow thru our veins?
I wish there was a tape recorder
in my brain so I could capture every thought,
every line of this poem
written on the back of your bike,
terrified, safe, home
on the back of your bike,
bought on accident, bought on credit.
Contrast: the wind rips into me
uninvited, unwelcome, unwanted.
But who ever really wanted the wind?
Maybe the wind is the world’s breath,
reminding us we’re alive,
on the back of everything we’ve ever hated.
And I’m not in love with motorcycles,
just in love with a different part of you.

*NOTE: I wrote this poem sometime around midnight or 1 a.m., 15-ish hours later I was in a motorcycle accident, my very first accident. Do I still feel the same about motorcycles as I did as I wrote this poem? Of course.