the place i already know

i’m constantly defending your love. fists of hope punching blind. difficult and forthright. my next-day eyes so small and dry, unable to sleep — squinting at dawn.

And for what?

So your eyes could focus and your mouth could hear? A pathway formed by the skin of my hands, watching and waving from the side?

Is it love that carries my weight or just the abominable well of pride? A birthright established from the first disappointment of light, too bright for a baby’s eyes. My lifetime spent climbing mountains of ash — invisible forms. A daughter only known from her mother’s womb, destroyed on that day in November.

Constantly trying to keep up.

So how do I get ahead? How do I ease the burden of being my mother’s child and erase the lines of her hands drawn on my face?

But how do I also accept my tired and worn unravelings, the lack of knowing of who I really am — a pain and suffering
while faking a mile from the start of a gun.

When all I wanted was to just be ok with knowing forever.