Everyone has that one fact
That no one really expects
But once you hear it makes perfect sense
For me, it’s that I don’t own a pair of jeans
My closet looks like the 70s got drunk and threw up in it

 But when I was 7
my favorite pair of jeans
breathed embroidery
pockets stitched with salmon meadows
snarling vines and outstretched leaves 
wrapped my thighs with aneurysms of color.

 But their insides were always more fascinating.
Layered in tangled stitches
An unseen tango of  indigo thread
seams expanding silent fireworks
like breaths inching between lovers lips
connecting and colliding at the same time.

 At 7, 
they were too vibrant to keep to myself.
So one day I went to school
with my pants inside out

 This was the first time 
my feet were strong enough to stand their ground
Those jeans taught my knees not to buckle
at my classmates’ snickers
how to love things for their insides.
When my pockets were exposed
exhibiting their full volume
I discovered how much I could carry.

 Today jeans are not enough
I need more than inverted pants to hold 
my new craving 
to turn my skin inside out
Showcase patterns of veins 
like threads embroidering my surface
I want to wear my inner layers
Accessorize lungs with dangling atria
I’ll sway my neck bones like silver chains
capable of surviving a thousand brands of whiplash.
My flesh is torn with pimples 
but my blood has flawless molecules.
My brain’s wrinkles map out boundaries I have crossed.

 You can read my face like a book
but it's only one chapter
You need to know my everything
to understand anything
how being called nothing
transformed me into something
When people ask when did you become a poet
I tell them it was the moment I turned myself inside out. 
The moment 
I wore my heart on my sleeve
The moment
I let words confined to the back of my throat
knit a scarf around my neck
because I wanted to feel warm
because I wanted to stop feeling alone
because I wanted glaciers to rupture with the warmth of honesty
shattering miles of silence inside me. 

 Let me replace my mirror with an X-ray
let me unzip my skin
wear my guts
my stomach of caged bluejays burning to migrate
I only feel whole when I'm bleeding out
when I liberate crimson memories into the wind
I am a wish whistle dandelion
growing into a 19 year old who doesn't need 
to wear her jeans inside out
I don’t even own a pair
Instead I fill my wardrobe with words
Let every outfit be a statement
Because if beauty comes from within
We can burst every seam.


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