I believe
there’s a thin line
that has been
and might be

when I walked
barefoot in the woods
while she called me home
to a place I feared to go
because of the things
happening that I 
had to pretend 
weren’t happening because
people don’t love damaged

there was another me
in another place that 
could go back to that house
and it wouldn’t be 
just her

it’d be
my mother
and father
setting up the table
with a sunset behind them
that would spit the chest
pull the lungs 
right out of me
and hurl them into
the center of the thing

we would listen to Zeppelin
Heart and Poison
dance on the linoleum floor
share food and laugh
throw our heads back
howl into the summer night

but it didn’t turn out
that way

I was left
looking up at the sky
at every single 
blinking plane light
pretending my mother
had a change of heart

or that every rumble
coming from the gravel road
was my father
coming from whatever
kept him away from me
as long as it did
until the damage was done
in Ohio

none of them came
because I didn’t know
they thought
it wasn’t worth
coming back

I’ll tell you this
you’ll never have
to pretend
a single goddamned
as long as I live