I remember before the words came
when the world still lay gray
and my heart pulled, pooled full at the edges
and I didn’t yet know how to spill it.
I remember when the first phrase played
across my young tongue
and the words stayed there, warm
with sun and sea and salt.
I remember the feeling of
finally, this is me, this is who
I am and all I want to be, and the freedom
of casting myself to the breeze.
I remember the first time
they betrayed me and
the last time they just wouldn’t come, and all
the small lonely deaths in between.