champagne in the afternoon

champagne in the afternoon ⠀

what if I am a poet?⠀
how will I ever grow up, ⠀
or be loved fully, ⠀
or sleep at night?⠀
must my kitchen sink remain full ⠀
and is it ok to pay my electric bill on time?⠀
will every fluttering heartbeat ⠀
or quick breath become punctuation's adornment ⠀
and who made this buzzing in my gut?⠀
what if I no longer weep for the woman I wish to become because I became her?⠀
I think I loathe a question mark, ⠀
and I still recall the scent of a baby boy ⠀
seen first through photographs, and the way⠀
his little mouth stayed wide open despite my pleading ⠀
that he kiss me back with all the love I desired to give. ⠀
also, there's a tour guide at the Sistine Chapel ⠀
who has wiped my tears. ⠀
he had a cloth which smelled of oil, or perhaps I only wish it did, because that seems masculine, ⠀
and I want to remember that moment as something more than godly. ⠀
I want it to be the beginnings of womanhood for me, and so I think it needs a man, ⠀
because that was the beginnings of womanhood for me: tangled up in men.⠀
maybe his cloth was clean. let us say it was clean.⠀
anyway - ⠀
he dabbed gently at my cheeks, whispering in Italian Americans always cry,⠀
and I bemoaned both truths suddenly.⠀
I know the way lavender feels when the wind blows, and I've memorized each strand of your hair ⠀
because it hurts less to count ⠀
than the many moments you will someday live without me.⠀
I am scared of the dark as artificial lights show cracks, ⠀
and I've talked to fireflies,⠀
who are quite misunderstood if we're being honest.⠀
once, on a car ride home to Cleveland, my father played Bob Dylan's 115th Dream, and I know the color of the sky⠀
at that exact moment.⠀
I wear skirts and tiptoe on the edge of heartbreak ⠀
with what my mother calls alarming regularity.⠀
I'm unnecessarily moved by the presence of flowers; I bathe with Nina Simone and The Modern Lovers.⠀
if pressed, souls dearest will say I am an enigma.⠀
and you kiss me with a sweetness reserved for fairies,⠀
so it's likely I'm a poet or beam of light or woman on earth.