I burned one hundred and
four pages of sin in the fireplace.
Bound neatly in the slick covers
of my first book of poetry.
This is for my
father, who doesn’t know that
the absence of him in my words is more telling
than what I refuse out of love
whose love was a bruised
peach, rolled gently between my palms,
whose hands are growing smaller as I grow
I burn all of those
words. I burn my love. My sorrow. For you. As you
douse my words in gasoline and I turn around so that
you cannot see me crying. Run, so that you
can take the books out one by one from the flames,
saving them from what I have tried to hide, your
fingers turning black along their
corners. Your hands
To you, who believed in me. You blow the
smoke through the chimney like a signal. And
I touch the soft grey
ash in the fireplace,
still in the shape of
the dedication page that I had
forgotten to write,
that says, For you,
My Father, who burned
my words alive, just to see if I would risk my flame
for what I believed
There is a shipwreck between your ribs. You are a box with fragile written on it, and so many people have not handled you with care.
And for the first time, I understand that I will never know how to apologize for being one of them.
Lately a lot of guys from my past have been hitting on me. People that never payed attention to me before. Fuck off.