some nights I call home in tears
and whisper things into the speaker
that a mother never wants to hear,
like I’m sorry,
and I hate this,
and I wish I was never born.
she listens to me softly, then
shakes her head and tells me
there is a coding in my DNA
that is willing me to live.
she tells me of three miscarriages
before me, how they
almost didn’t try again,
but it was worth the heartbreak
in the end,
because I was a fighter.
she tells me of screaming matches
between her and my father
and how it almost ended
before they even began.
she tells me of my genes
how she never meant for me
to go through this like her father had,
how he felt helpless, and hopeless, and scared,
and she could do nothing
she tells me she’s done watching.
she believes in me when I can’t do it myself
and makes me promise
to always stay a fighter.
I can’t promise her that I will be strong
one hundred percent of the time,
because I know how my mind works
and how easily it shatters,
but I can promise I will try,
I will always try.
I know it’s not safe
to make homes out of people
but I can’t help but feel like these four walls
compared to your arms around me.
my heart is a bird
but it cannot be free,
so as long as there are ribs
that try to cage me.