I wanted to love you beyond reason
to tuck you under warm blankets
inhale the scent of your freshly bathed skin
pressing my lips to your cool forehead
stroking your hair back from your face
so I could memorize it until dawn.
I wanted to embrace you with hugs
to protect you from the angry, vengeful world
to be your advocate for justice until you spoke
your first words in defense of your right to exist
that I could offer you a vocabulary for peace
that would last throughout your lifetime
I wanted family intimacy to gestate organically
with inside jokes created with one another
stories built upon our common history
beliefs based on a mutual understanding
goals set and met together in blood-line unity
Cherished memories transmogrified into legends
I stand here holding a bin full of dusty artifacts
every imagining I’d dreamed about abandoned
discarded into a tornadic swipe of desolation
Emptied of sacredness into the seasonal winds
My love, hugs, and hope for a family with you
have perished due to your intentional self-destruction
I mourn for you as if you had passed the veil
I see evidence of you in portraits lying happily
with smiles that don’t eat your eyes with joy
except for mine which shine with implicit trust
passionate encouragement radiates towards you
so brightly that you cringed away, scalded by love
that didn’t hurt but should have flayed your skin
because that’s what you were taught by my blood
I wish you peace.
I wish you love.
I wish you happiness.
I wish you a life worth living.
I wish you to know that I’d do it all again.