I promise I’ll stop chasing your memory in my dreams,
I’ll stop bringing your name up over cups of coffee
Muffins and loneliness.
I will marry a man and I will lay my heart on his chest
Like red roses on mahogany caskets.
And I’ll have his daughter and she’ll have eyes reminding me
That God believes in second chances.
And if she ever decides to love another woman
I will love bravery down her spine.
I will be reminded of all the times
Where we loved
Like there were expiration dates tattooed on our inner thighs.
If she ever comes home with eyelids like
And a heart full of question marks
I will hold her like my mother never held me
I’ll clasp her face in my palms
Like the new testament on judgement day.
I’ll tell her that love is the passion that allows you to do the right thing
And that no woman can play coaster to a half empty heart.
And if she ever feels as if she’s alone
As if she is not a hand-me-down fabric pulled from the depths of mommy’s closet
I’ll remember your name and I’ll mumble it under my breath
And when she asks me what did I say
I’ll tell her that I know what it’s like to drag a woman out of a cold war
And then being too worn to clean up the battlefield it has made of you.
I’ll tell her that your heart sounded like gun shows
tripping over battered cement.
I’ll tell her that I know what it’s like just to want someone to remember you
And that some women are as vile as expired men in produce aisles
And that apologies are like oxygen masks on hijacked planes.
Forgive yourself, before you ever forgive the person that’s sitting next to you.
I’ll tell her to never regret loving in permanent ink.
And that scars only give your stretchmarks something to gossip about.
And that hearts and stop signs are fraternal twins
Lost in open roads and hollow chests.
If my daughter’s mirror ever looks unfamiliar
And she’s too embarrassed and prideful to run in mommy’s arms
I’ll pray that she has friends with hearts filled with thousands of fireflies
Who are not too cool to pray with her
Who are not too tired to stop and look for the light at the end of the tunnel
And find God in the darkness.
If my daughter ever walks in my house like shattering glass
I’ll tell her about you.
I’ll tell her that we hurt like c-sections birthing dead babies
And that we cried together
And we prayed together
And we laughed like our smiles were the only ones that mattered in this world
And that we hurt like women who love women who loved people who did not love us
I hope my daughter never knows what a goodbye kiss feels like
I hope she never knows what “I’ll see you later” really means
I hope that she never memorized doubts honed on the last conversation
Because a broken heart feels like poison butterflies taking their last flutters in the pits of your stomach
I hope my daughter never bares her soul at a poetry showcase
With her first love sitting in the audience
Knowing that the hands she’ll use to applaud her with
Will be the same hands that’ll never hold her again.