i say to myself, a clean break, a clean break, like a knife through the butter of memory, i will break myself over the edge of my own loneliness. i am a small planet with no moons. i find myself returning to familiar rotations. the sun making its way across the dark expanse of sky, breaking day open like a pine nut. i am breaking over the edge of my memories (your name a secret i whisper to myself under the cover of night. like a quiet prayer, i hold the thought of you against my breast).
i am revealed to myself in dreams. as a mother, sometimes as a daughter. i braid my own hair. kiss my cheeks softly. say to myself; you are the center of your own universe. in the morning i wake up. i can only remember fragments of these dreams. only the face of a girl who looks like me, and the ache of holding on to someone who won’t stay.
the memory of a boy who makes me feel heavy. (mama: i am a nomad, do not ask me what i know of love). i am a small planet with no moons. i cannot be anchored to the slow orbit of another. i will swallow the galaxy. this is a metaphor. i will consume you. i want to let you go before it is too late. do not come to me in my dreams. (do you believe in dreams we get messages from the other? i do not know. i do not know. in dreams i see myself in new ways, in different bodies, always with the same message: a kiss on the forehead and an order to embrace the night sky).
i lay awake at night and beg sleep to come but my body keeps time. i imagine the moon makings its way against the night sky, alone and unafraid. the old ones wrote poems comparing their lovers to the moon. they remind us what we forget during the warmth of day; no one else would dare trek the night sky backwards.