I’ve never been very good at telling people how I feel.

In fact, I don’t even think I’ve ever really known.

I ask myself what I’m feeling all the time,

and whatever plan I had for fixing something broken

flies out of consciousness like a sudden concussion.

I believe I can’t know because

there’s something fundamentally wrong about me

that others can identify when I can’t,

since I have that inner seeing and identifying problem

I mentioned up there.

I don’t know how I’m still here, can’t tell where I came from

or where I’m going, and have had to have my hand held

so many times, it’s a wonder I ever got anything I wanted.

I’ve preferred to be guided into pleasure

the way a sober friend helps you open

your front door after a long night.

And it’s probably a good thing I don’t find it because I think if I did,

evil imp that I am, I’d probably leave it on the side of a road

somewhere, swaddled in a blanket.

The animals would circle that feeling and begin their nipping,

and eventually one would dare to do a little bit more than that,

and that would be the end of that.

I wouldn’t have to live with it anymore,

and in a few days, it would be like it never was.

The truth is I hate this anonymous part of myself

that hurts me all over and turns me raw inside and out so much

I’d do practically anything to get rid of it,

and I’m pretty sure any guilt and shame I’d feel for abandoning it

would be worth it, even if it ended up being torn to pieces

by a starving wild mother, the way mine tore and consumed

my childhood, ate me.

It’s why now I confuse absence for love. Which would be an awful thing,

if it weren’t for the fact, that, having had to grow up as one,

it’s now second nature that I give my friends and I a lot of much

needed space for not taking ourselves too seriously.

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