every day i stand outside
a different door
i will make no mistakes.
likely today i will misplace
the file, forget
her name, miss that planning meeting.
today i will stare across the table
after you’ve spoken your deepest hurt
and all i will be able to say is
for opening up your mistakes
so that we can see the possibility in them.
for damning the violence done to you
without damning yourself.
for tossing that memory into the circle
so we all taste your mother’s tamales,
or cup of noodles with hot sauce,
or burnt pancakes.
i cry a lot.
more and more as i get older
i can’t contain the truth,
it pours out of me
saline on the page.
i hold their notebooks
away from my body.
there are dangerous phrases in here,
they could overthrow something.
i sneak them out in my arms.
later i put on an apron
and an old shirt.
working in the dirty sink
i break the words
so the pain comes out.