i wrap myself in the dried petals of guilty roses
gifted by young men who envisioned lifetimes of me
nurturing the little boys in them— that always lie
and piss all over my dreams.
i hate the way their cheeks flush
when they say that they see their mamas in me,
almost as much as they hate the word “no”, or
the way i mentally move out and on
before i physically pack months of overnight bags
and forgiveness, then go
as far away from their insecurities that teethe
on the parts of me that make them feel most whole
and at home—
where they suckle d’usse bottles like babas
and throw tantrums so bad that clenched hands
mistake the closest wall, or me, for their demons.