THIS STUPID TATTOO
I hadn’t written anything in two weeks
and my journal was mocking me with its empty pages
and all of my pens kept drying out in my waitress apron
and my elbows and wrists and knees and shins all hurt
from carrying trays and hot plates and tripping over kitchen mats.
I still hadn’t figured out why
I wished to be in two places at once
and why no one quite seems to get THAT,
and no one here quite seems to get ME.
Because of all these THINGS,
because of all these THOUGHTS,
Where once there had only been pale blue veins,
now there is this: an open book with blank pages.
This thing on my wrist.
It’s ridiculous and it’s perfect
and I’m not sure if anyone really gets it
or if I even do,
but it’s there now,
and you can’t make me take it off.
So stop staring at it like that, ok?
I'm still me. I promise.
Right now, all I can really do is wait,
and wear Rene’s t-shirt
and stare at my cat
and wonder what this stupid tattoo
and listen to Neil Young
and decide how to live with myself
when I disappoint all of you again
by going back to Chicago
where things make sense,
where I actually fit in,
where I belong.
You don’t have to get it.
You don’t have to approve.
It’s just that it’s here,
and I can’t change it,
and I can’t change me,
no matter how much I’d like to,
no matter how much I wish
I could just stay here
and make all of you happy.
These pale blue veins now pop out
on the pages of my book
that’s open and blank
I have to go.
July 6, 2010