A poem for my birthday

For my 6th birthday dad took me to the museum
This morning I paper cut my finger
It wouldn’t stop bleeding

I remember his words reading my essay
About guns and decapitated heads
Look at the beautiful poem my daughter wrote!

I bleed the same color as the lines I’ve read a thousand times
From a book he got me when I was five
I didn’t know what a plane crash was
I didn’t know
The desert was a metaphor
Or metaphors, for what is worth
And I didn’t ask
HOW ON EARTH did a child get there

It all made sense then
Still makes sense now
When I look down
At hands soaked in anxiety
Holding numbers I can’t dial

I’m sorry I’m busy now
I call you some other time

At 11 I had no one around
Just the stories dad left behind
For me to find solace and dreams
Places I would never get to see
People I would never get to meet
Lives I would never get to live

Dad was a gesture
I tend to mimic

I remember I was two
Then I was twenty-six
Dripping letters
On my sweater
Dad taught me how to read
Cause he knew me best
And he knew
Setting me free from reality
Would set me free from myself

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