Heirlooms

My mother gathered her old bookmarks, broken piano keys,

all the pens in the house she could find, and chopped a sliver

of her golden hair. She mixed these ingredients together

like the way she did with her mother’s cheesecake

and made me.

 

She built my soul out of the words that stuck

to the back of my throat like a price tag on glass,

nervously bitten nails from my childhood, plucked sunflower petals,

and the air from the midnight sky.

 

My mother always told me that one day

my heart will become a starlit sea, my feet will

travel to unfamiliar places but my spine was made

from the roots of the willow tree in our backyard.

 

My skin is as delicate as the pages of the dusty books

on the shelf but my bones are as strong as the oak wooden frame.

Ink smears on my hands and sunflowers grow in my lungs.

My hair is honey and the moon whispers in my ear, you inspire me.

 

My soul is made from collected tears that will form a hurricane,

dirty paint brushes that never dry, each step my rooted feet take,

all the songs I sing along to, and my mother’s love.

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