Published in The Best of Kindness 2017 Anthology (Origami Poems Project) – Spring 2017  


I’d like to have pulled out the shiny

highlights of the girl who pointed at

“the freak with volcanic skin,”  

Loved to have asked the bespectacled boy to

enjoy his sandwich beside me, to have grinned

hello to each passing janitor, to have dropped

a few bills in some of the dozen

open hands in the subway station


I’d have carefully led my wailing sister

through the throes of algebra, have

reminded my starving friend that she was

very pretty; in the hours I spent in academies,

I’d have listened to my grandmother’s stories,

telling her “I love you” a few twenty times a day

until I couldn’t—


In my head I am a hero, a kind daughter, sister,

a lovely creature showering golden rays with every step

It is much too easy to be clever than kind, to let

Time cast a moonless net, making me

run and run

and run—


In my throat

Silence burns, and dulls into a

bitter aftertaste