I took all the things I loved and
Smashed them one by one.
—Cynthia Cruz, from “January”
I am diseased with this
Recurring dream that is
—Cynthia Cruz, from “Strange Gospels”
Her loneliness is so brutal,
It is beautiful.
It has its own language.
—Cynthia Cruz, from “Plush”
My sadness is not
a cut for you to bandage,
and it is not
a bruise for you to kiss.
I am not waiting
for you to save me.
I am hoping you will love me
while I rescue myself.
You have yourself convinced that you are the old sweater
hiding in the back of your closet. -
You know, that place where whispers go
when no one hears them,
and they collect dust in the shoebox
next to your school project from the 2nd grade.
But I think instead that you are the thrift shop find
that fits just right.
I wish that your knees would stop telling each other
that they are not worthy of worship.
You are so much more holy
than the wounds you kissed into your walls
& your hips & your wrists
when your fists were lonely.
I want you to know that you should never be lonely.
Because when you are clinging white knuckle to your voice box
for fear of fucking up the notes,
I will forever be sitting in the front row
holding up a mirror
to reflect the Jackson Pollock masterpiece of your eyes
and to remind you
that you don’t necessarily need to walk in a straight line.
You will still get where you are going.
And I hope that you will find a girl
who makes you feel going, going, gone -
in the best of ways
and that she keeps you warm.
Just remember dear,
secondhand doesn’t mean thrown away.
It just means