Rib

Some days I am a stranger with foreign
hands and a sleeping tongue. Some days
my skin is a shade I do not recognize.
Half the week I am lost, and the other:
I am waiting to be unwandering.

But I know myself.

I know the way my chest rises and I have
memorized the way it falls.

Down.

Even on the days I am down, even on days I am
lying face-first on the ground, my stomach is
churning miracle out of dust. Even on days my
hands are fists I cannot untangle, my knotted-
up fingers are scribbling poetry on the insides
of my palms.

I know myself.

There are earthquakes in my chest that echo
through my veins like heartbeats. They shake
against my ribcage but my ribs are daggers that
will always fight back.

I know myself.

I know my heart is the desert and the mirage.
I know there are waterfalls within me where
there should be nothing. I know there are
universes underneath my skin that are just
waiting to be recognized.

I know myself.

I know the way my chest falls. Down. But I am
not pulled down with it. But you are not pulled
down with it. For every fall, we push upwards
twice as hard.

And even the moon smiles down on nights like
this. On nights my name against my tongue is
more silk than desert sand. On nights I am
more wandering than lost, more miracle than
mistake. On nights I know myself, and I know
myself well enough to know: I am here. I am
here. I am sometimes magical and I am not
going anywhere.

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