by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
i’ve figured out what my past means.
i’ve driven my car off the side of a cliff in five hundred dreams.
i’ve held my hands out into the night air while laughing
and screaming hysterically.
i’ve said “fuck you” in person to exactly one cop.
i’ve been grainy black and white closed circuit camera footage.
i’ve been silence preempted by coma.
i’ve climbed over more walls than walked through doors.
i’ve felt a lump in my throat every night for five years.
i’ve learned that you can will a rash into existence.
i’ve kissed god on her dumb ugly lips.
i’ve seen the sun come up more than ten but less than fifty times.
i’ve revoked my personhood at various junctures for various reasons.
i’ve been both a girl who thought she was boy
and a girl who thought she was a woman.
i’ve been wrong about something every day of my life.
i’ve been whole for five second intervals.
i’ve listened to songs over and over until
they’ve become like dirt on the walls of my bedroom.
i’ve cried to two sitcoms, one car commercial, half of all
the movies i’ve ever seen, the end of every book i’ve ever read,
lots of poems, something my mom said, and
you touching my hand like it was never gone.
i’ve come into my own and fallen back out.
i’ve quit drugs and cigarettes, but not alcohol or hating myself.
i’ve discovered the space between incomplete and complete.
i’ve built houses there that i inhabit when i am sad.
i’ve memorized more and more of them each time.
i’ve become a person who is able to fall asleep
in her own skin without first having to remove it.
i’ve survived the process.