so when Geoff sings “here’s to this year I never thought I’d make it through” I put my arms around someone else who did make it & swayed along as the clock swung itself past midnight at the end of December
Hanif Abdurraqib, “Defiance, Ohio Is The Name Of A Band”
it was the year that sleeping felt like a breath of fresh air and in the mornings i slipped through the day’s teeth, stared down its throat and asked god why must i do this again? and god wouldn’t answer, i kept knocking at his door and he wouldn’t answer, except he opened my eyes each morning and maybe that was the answer. i always was too stubborn to be a good listener. it was the year everyone was happier than i was, and i fell in love with victoria but i flirted with jorge because i could not listen, not even to my heart, and that december i told my mother i didn’t know why she did not love me while my sister was in the chapel singing songs about jesus, and my forearm became a chapel and my blood the holy water, and my mom said she was sorry and she loved me but she didn’t stop screaming that i was selfish and made her feel small and i learned how to unstitch my soul from my body and nobody noticed except the drama teacher. i wrote poetry in a backwards notebook and told no one. i wouldn’t kill myself but i didn’t care if i got hit by a car, or if i didn’t wake up one morning. It was the year i didn’t think would exist in the past tense, but it does. and even if i don’t always want to be, i am still here, awake. and i don’t know if that’s me knocking or god opening up the door but
i am still here.