“For practice, I sleep until two in the afternoon
and brag about skipping breakfast.
This is how it starts.
I drink coffee before bed and stay up
trying to memorize the burn behind my eyes.
I wait for you and this is how
I pass the time.
I fuck myself up.
I skip classes and I don’t wash my clothes.
I stop calling my mom to tell her
that I’m doing okay.
I want to be good and lost when you
finally show up
because how dare you.
How dare you get to see me after
I’ve gotten better.
How dare you skip the middle part
and then come back to me.
When you get here, I will be
an aching mess.
I will not put myself back together
just so you can pretend you understand
how I did it.
When you get here, you will turn
right around and leave again.
I will not be perfect for you.
You do not get to love me if you
do not stick around to see what it took
to become me.”—