74: Letter To My Last Self

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I wish you knew what the now you knows. How many times you have mistaken a moth for a butterfly, a butterfly for a friend. How many times you have thought you couldn’t survive the shame of losing someone else’s love.

Take those instincts and slam them like fingers in the door.

Plunge a jackknife through their half-baked hearts.

Pull them from the root under the bed, out the closet, behind the mirror, to the dumpster stinking up the alley and back/ out back/ you’re never going back.

You were never theirs/ nevermore/ more than this. 

Trust that you can take it/ grit and bear it/ mix metaphors/ serve revenge hot like the fuck-you fire in your kingdom.

You will thrive in being gone and look graceful as they drag you through the mud.

You will learn how much you do not care about them because what you care about is love.

You will find a frothy, flourishing magic inside yourself. It will fulfill the wishes you whisper like fog at dusk.

You’re never going back/ you’re never going back/ you’re never going back.

The only thing behind you are wings.

They finally belong to you.

***


“A mother in California who with her husband and her two children will be returned to Oklahoma by the Relief Administration. This family had lost a two-year-old baby during the winter as a result of exposure.” Dorthea Lange, 1937