she says, “what are humans made out of,
if not emotions and quirks and mistakes?”
i think to myself that humans are made
out of sinew and bone and tissue and if god hasn’t
found a way to love us bloodily and morbidly
then he will never be able to look past any
of our self-taught imperfections.
but i say none of this, just nod and smile,
and wonder what it means that to her,
all that i am is a series of mistakes stacked
on top of each other. my entire body is a past
i cannot outrun no matter how many times
i move away and forget my name and who i used
she tries to take away my body, but i have fought
for sixteen years to gain these inches of self-love
and i am proud to stand before her now wearing muscle
and skin. i want to tell her that i am ninety-three
percent star dust and that means ninety-three percent
of who i am has lived in a blackness so absolute
that the only light i had was the one i created for myself.
i want to tell her that’s something i think about a lot.
i want to tell her that i used to be afraid that every mistake
i’ve ever made would carve itself into my flesh and one day
the knife would cut too deep and supernovas would erupt
from the cracks in my skin and i would never again be
able to hold back the radiance inside of me.
i want to tell her that the best gifts her god has ever given
me are this body made from earth and sky, and also
permission to make as many mistakes as i want but to
never let them define me.