I spent a year as a sword swallower
Moaned your name through the scar tissue
Closed my eyes and imagined the crows
Feet that form around your eyes when you
Smile (Achilles heel turned broken ankle).
I wanted you to tell me more about G*****
(You were impressed that I could find it on a map);
About your dad.
I wanted to cure your asthma
Bring you tea in the middle of the night–
You wanted to tell me about someone else.
We catalogued my inadequacies instead
(Show and tell)
I spent two winters in a straight jacket.
Stopped stopping to smell the roses
Let Chet Baker’s trumpet torture me at night
Picked at old scabs and salted fresh wounds.
In the spring I grew
My hair out as tribute
(I didn’t know I was a seed);
I stopped running away.
I threw my passport out
I came/went Home.
Sat with the dark and poured
Gold in all of the broken places.
This poem originally appeared on the Red Wedge Patreon page. To read exclusive content such as this early, and to receive a subscription to Red Wedge, become a supporter.
Crystal Stella Becerril is a freelance writer and poet based in Brooklyn. She is poetry editor at Red Wedge, and has also written for Fader, Jacobin, Warscapes, and other outlets. She collaborates with Magally Miranda Alcázar on the project SAL(T): Xicana Marxist Thought, and also hosts the podcast of the same name. Find her on Twitter: @XicanaSpice