though she and I are young, we’ve never exactly

acted our age.  raised with an older sister or by a mother

like a sister, we’ve each taken on roles too big

to fit our frames before.  but this is the first time for the two of us

and excited as kids on Halloween, she and I are ready

to pick

what we want the next years

to resemble; as if we could see

the glowing promise beyond cheap curtains

of voting booths and stages.  trust makes better

lovers of us both, and we

talk about the future

like we’ve got all the time in the world in our hands

ignore the sky growing dark a little earlier each day, girl

it’s hard not to be optimistic when

someone’s loving you

and she could make me almost believe in a country that

exists beyond borders

where skins can mix and match, where she and I

can kiss on a street corner and nobody raise

an eyebrow or a ruckus

where a Southern-raised Baptist and the daughter of a lapsed Catholic both

can defend the right to choose without

losing high school friendships.

when she can endure evacuations and return

again to a city of cracked foundations

hope clinging like vines to gutted houses, how can I

claim it’s not safe to put trust

in tomorrow and whatever it brings?

I don’t know where I will be a year from now, under what skies

but this is a delicate thing grown up

far beyond its short time

I cradle it in my fingers, keep the flame burning

through darkness til tomorrow comes.

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