my mom didn’t give me a lot of relationship advice
she always hugged my father tight and gave him chaste kisses each night in front of us
she was impatient when he’d say he’d be home by 7:00 and arrive around 7:30
but she taught us how to wait
we always waited to eat as a family unit
no matter how cold those boxed potatoes would get
she did say that when you saw that there were vacuum cleaner lines on the rug
you should mention how great the place looked
all cleaned up
she did say that when they get a hair cut
you should tell them how great their hair looks
make sure you notice the details
but do nothing about the obvious
gradually the stacks of junk mail on counter appear
envelopes unopened while everyone knew there was nothing important inside
but they waited, patiently
to be opened before carelessly discarded or shred
were always in the way when we wanted to make cookies
we would just move the stacks to another location
until we ate the cookies
the stacks would move back
return to sender, returned to where they lived.
her advice was to notice the details
her actions were to move the stacks instead of getting rid of them
waiting, like those damn envelopes..
that is the foundation of my relationships
i notice the lines in the rug
because i am the one who created them.
i notice my haircut
twice a year 5 inches are removed and the white streak down the center of my head disappears into bright red
patiently i wait with the henna on my head for no one to notice the difference
self love is the noticing while dismissing the voice in my head seeking outside approval
self love is discarding the junk mail as it enters my place
the stacks don’t accumulate, but my grays do.
here my home
it is waiting for a partner.
its clean counters.
books lined up for us to read together.
they’re impatiently waiting.
i will read them before you arrive
so i can know the content and stories
so you can’t see the cracks
in my knowledge
in my memory.
when my mom visits
she doesn’t notice the lines in the carpet
or that my grays aren’t as noticeable as hers are
she notices that I am
alone lonely independent.
her advice is only to do things that make me happy.
the mail doesn’t pile up here
that must be happiness.