Yesterday, I visited my sister. She lives in the same dorm I lived in my sophomore year, two floors above my room. When I stepped into the building I was hit with so many memories from my time there, so many memories from that whole year of my life. I was reminded of feelings I had forgotten– the insecurities of my nineteen-year-old self. I wrote this poem as a response…
For: Abby [Age: Nineteen]
I want to tell you that you’re beautiful, and I want you to believe it. I will scream phrases like Love the skin you’re in and You were born with it, it’s not Maybeline into your ears until your tympanic membranes punch me in the face ’cause I’m shaking them up and making them nervous. I want my words to root into the gyri and sulci of your brain, dig their pointy serifs into that cold oatmeal mush. Once they’re settled, I want them to build a home out of bricks and mortar; cement and barbed wire; something strong, impermeable. They’ll build four walls, one roof, a picket fence, and a rose garden to stake their claim on the land. They’ll multiply, reproduce both sexually and asexually, not because they want to be like aphids or sea anemones, but because they want to live in your brain forever.
I want to tell you that you will find three-dimensional love, and I want you to believe it. You’re looking in all the wrong places, so stop it. I want to slap signs on your back, front, and forehead that say Assholes Aren’t Welcome Here. People listen to things like that. I want those signs to decay and dissolve because I used notebook paper and markers instead of permanent pen and a laminator; the ink will trickle down your forehead, into the cracks of your interlocking eyelashes, sealing your eyelids shut. You’ll only find what you want when you’re not looking for it. I know you want someone who thinks you’re the prettiest girl at the party. I know you want someone who won’t turn away when you fall asleep next to each other. I know you want someone who calls you home.
I want to tell you that you will be okay, and I want you to believe it.