Are you my friend?

You have always cared for me,

caught my tears,

catered to every color I tried to dye my hair.

You didn’t mind the dirt

when I dug spaces in the garden,

and I smiled at how gently

you guided flowers to fill them.

 

You have helped me paint my skin

with fading skies and freckled stars,

and you’ve kept me company

when I was nervous

and you started to shake.

You’ve held every cup of coffee

I knew I shouldn’t drink,

and calmed my pounding heart

with kindness all the same.

 

You bore the scrapes I gave you

with every summer tree I climbed,

and you helped me back up again

every time I fell.

I let your knuckles crack and bleed

with every gust of winter wind,

and you held the steaming mug for me

when my shoulders rocked in shivers.

I tried to take care of you,

but I often forgot.

 

Are you my friend?

I thought I was at war with you

every time I watched you tremble.

I called you weak,

I called you wanting.

If this war was to be won,

you were no steady soldier.

I watched the failure on your fingertips

run like battle blood.

 

But you are part of me.

Every evil you’re enslaved to

was born inside my mind,

and although you bear the blame,

I am the one who keeps you trembling.

Yes, I taste betrayal,

but it never left my lips—

and the pain that lines your palm

was never yours to carry.

 

Thank you for every flower seed

you’ve ever helped me plant,

and thank you for your patience

when I forced you into a fist.

It is not your fault

that I failed to keep you steady.

I am growing flower seeds

in the garden of my mind

so that one day you won’t need

to weed out overgrown actions.

I want to be your friend.

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