Behind – National Poetry Month 2018 – 30-for-30

Behind is where everything really starts

When you think about it

Like now is a before that hasn’t become itself yet

I almost came out to the world then slick changed my mind

Made my mama hold me for like I don’t even know how much longer

Still curl up in her lap sometimes cause I’m grown but I ain’t nothing but her boy

Was my Grand Ma’s too

She always said so everytime I saw her and it’s that sound I’ll miss most

It wasn’t that I never pictured a world

Without those I’ve lost

It’s that I’m always doing it with those I will

Even before I know who they are

So just everyone

So when they go

It’s just a matter of which imagined world will become reality

When my grandma went

It was the one where I didn’t know until I was in the door hugging everyone hello

The one where my dad says it as simply as he can

And I go off to cry

Come back

Take out a bag of coffee and realize I’m now living a life where I never made my grandmother a cup of espresso

And then that really gets me

And then I’m just by myself in my room

Crying cause I ain’t made it like I thought I did

Really the world without my grandmother

Started in the world with her

She stood in front of the world’s largest tank and said

“this is why you have to believe in God”

And I hoped I’d never forget hearing her say that

And in that moment

She was already gone

In that moment before it was already the life I’ve lived since

The life I’m living now

Is before


I wrote “behind is where everything really starts”

And before that I started my life behind

Haven’t caught up since

And before I do

I’m already dead


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