“Promises were a language you spoke better
than anyone else.
You’ve been talking about vulnerability and I’ve
been picking pennies off the sidewalk
for the coin purses between my ribs.
I’m looking forward to the day
when opening my mouth doesn’t feel
like spitting quarters into wishing wells:
a days where my chest doesn’t rattle like my pockets.
Beneath the soft leather of my skin,
I am a symphony of self doubt
and I keep trying, but I can’t seem to empty myself out.
It was so easy for you—
pulling words from my mouth like dollars at the toll booth.
But I am a miser who swallowed her own heart
to keep you from giving it away, and you
were the only pair of steady hands on the day
my insides rolled out like spare change.
Now, I pay the meter everyday
and remind myself to breathe.
You were good at taking things out of me,
but I am learning to let them be.”