“This is not a poem.
This is a 3 a.m.
phone call to 911
from the back
of a stranger’s trunk.
This is a prayer.
This is a bar napkin secret
flushed down the toilet
of a one-night stand’s
studio apartment.
A bucket list –
only 7) fall in love
crossed out of it.
These, my hands.
Things I would ink
on skin if all the paper
in the world disappeared.
This is a swear. A gunshot
fired, echoing, from a distance.
Me saying yes
to myself
and no to anyone who
makes me feel like I don’t
deserve it. This is
the afterthought
of a door slamming.
The anatomy of a parentheses.
Another name for the heart.
This is my mother,
seven years old
and surviving on nothing
but soy sauce
for dinner.
This is never an apology.
This is what the night would say
if it had your mouth
on my mouth
before I punched you
on the mouth.
But mostly what the light
would say. Always,
the word

– “When It All Comes Down To It,” Kim Visda

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