I was born twice.
Once in a McDonalds’ hospital
with Mickey Mouse sheets;
my first gasp of Aunt Mary’s smoke,
my last of formaldehyde.
Laid upon today’s paper,
I was outlined by the headline
like a halo: “Diana Dead.”
Grace is my mother,
but she’s never stepped
foot in a church.
She wore hot pink to my birth
and hot pink to my funeral too.
I was named Heaven in her womb.
She didn’t care for me much
I died once
sometime after high school
but before I made anything of myself.
I cried every time I flipped on the TV.
I caught myself with sharp things
like it was Valium. Popping pills
on the side of my leg. They rolled
in circular shapes on flat surfaces.
Diagnosis was a standardized test
that only the strange didn’t pass;
I didn’t pass. I didn’t live either.
I died only once
in the bathroom of a Panera.
If you don’t know what that is,
it’s a pastry place or something.
It was the first ordinary store
I saw with a bathroom after fleeing
my “partial hospitalization” shit.
And by fleeing, I mean
walking across the street,
while using the crosswalk,
because I’m not as badass
as I imagine myself to be.
I looked down at myself
after locking the bathroom door,
“Fuck...” I was wearing a hot
Might as well be.
I was born twice,
once like a normal kid
squeezed out quick before the
commercials were over.
Second time in a tiny flower bunk bed
with a towering penguin pillow;
my first gasp of Versus Versace.
My eyes were adjusting to the light
like alien eyes, if they have eyes.
They were crusty at the corners
and watery from years of misuse.
The native of this world,
her face like the photograph
that I had seen before,
and hid so no one else could see,
probably in Harry Potter 4
because it was the biggest book
I owned. And I liked Harry Potter
most, and I liked her face most.
She kissed me because
I asked her to and because
there was nothing else that felt
right to do in the whole fucking
universe except kissing her
then and there.
The second time I was born
I looked up at her,
and decided not to die a second time.