the greatest lie I have ever been told

it will be okay

my mother told me the first time I went camping

my father told me the first time I swam

my teacher told me the first time I failed

and you told me the first time you saw me cry

after a movie late-night

downtown, drizzling, dimmed lights

you did not understand why I cried for the cat

you did not know mine died last month

it will be okay you said

I will be your okay


the deepest secret I have ever held

don’t leave

from my mother at the airport when I was sixteen

from my grandpa in the hospital at six a.m. that day

from you when you walked me home the first time

and you seemed to have heard me

just through my unsteady breaths

I remember how we watched that movie of the old West

through the buzzing night until the wakeful dawn

no one said anything

and you left


the hardest word I have ever said – and I say it every day


when my mother tells me to sleep well

when my grandma tells me to come home early for dinner

when I tell myself to stand taller today

let my brain resonate the word ‘okay’

after the sleepless nights I have spent alone

after the agonizing days I have spent reading

great literature from the beginning of time

writing about struggles heavier than mine

but when you said let’s think about us

and I said okay

I let go and said don’t leave

But no one told me it will be okay


the most fatal scene I have ever witnessed

and there is only one

today I saw you near that cinema

I thought I was dreaming again

but your hair is shorter so I know

it is real

you were holding a bouquet of lilies and peonies

not for me

so this time I left

because I could think of a thousand words to spit out

acid to burn those flowers to decadence

I could claw my eyes out and put them in a jar

so next time I see you

you can take out my heart

and put it in the jar too

it would have hurt less than that question

and the repercussion that follows


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