if i’m honest.

by Michael King

if i’m honest, i didn’t want this,
tried to dress this heart up
like the others, train these
hands to write the story
right, deepen my
voice, practice my walk,
tried to long after
the things i was promised
were meant for me

and, if i’m honest, i lost it,
fell to ribbons after ages of
bundling, held my
unraveled threads and
learned to breathe in
unfiltered air, practiced
trusting the color
of my heartbeat, threadbare

i owe love letters to
the hands that ushered me
forward, the first boy to
see me and pull me
closer, love like ivy
stretching across all
my concrete artifice,
to the friends who handed
me rainbows on the
mornings i could only
forecast flooding

i never did so much
trying as i did before i
let this self be, all the
try, try, try screeching to
silence the moment i
allowed myself aloud,
if i’m honest, a promise

the chapters have
stacked, time seductive
in its blurring of old
bandages, i look across
the swimming pool and
ache with love for a
boy in golden light, ripples,
dance with joy
in wild clothing, look
you in the eye and tell you
my name, if i’m honest,
i want this, i want this.