the rose vine – “Mountains”

“Mountains”

My feet dangle above the earth

my hair blows in the wind.

I can see for what feels like miles away.

My heart skips a beat as I look below

but I feel safe.

 

His shoulders felt like mountains to climb

and I did. As often as he would allow.

When my short legs got tired on the long walk home.

When I needed a better view of what lied ahead.

Until I got too big and he got too old.

 

Time passes and I help him to bed and get him his lunch

The days I sat on those mountains now long gone.

The days I felt as high as the eagles we sought.

And then he’s gone.

Mountains buried six feet underground.

 

And part of my childhood dies with him.

I am no longer the little girl 

who could forget her troubles on her papa’s shoulders.

I am grown, or so it appears. I stand alone, 

my mile-long view replaced with a blurry haze.

 

Sorrow fills every inch of my feeble body

and I know I would give everything 

to climb those mountains once again,

to just feel safe in the world again,

to get back the peace that died with him.

 

the rose vine – “Eternity, for Men”

“Eternity, For Men”

I can’t explain who I am without the stuff

I own. The space I inhibit in this room,

the full length mirror and the floor camouflaged

in boy-jeans and flowing dresses

silent yet screaming at me, “boy or girl?

Boy or girl? 

BOY OR GIRL?

 

I glance at my closet, for a moment finding silence 

in the cologne I spent entirely too much 

on because I thought it would make me happy

and it did, for a time. Every inhale brought euphoria

that never seemed enough. I need more

to prove who I am to me, to you.

 

I inhale, the one symbol of masculinity uninhibited 

by my mother’s curves

or the chest still unmapped.

It smelled of leather and fire,

the ex-boyfriend’s garage 

before I knew wanting 

to be someone and with someone weren’t the same thing.

 

Of course I knew. 

The way I crossed my arms 

and bound my chest before it developed

before I learned 

no one wants an it.

 

Before that boyfriend called me Eric and laughed.

Before I knew laughter as the consequence of sincerity.

Before I accepted laughter and abandoned sincerity.