New Meaning

To gaze into the bluest eye
and feel
wanted.

To be reminded that this is not my home.

To learning when to speak up for myself
for people like me

To stay quiet about the things
I am ashamed of.

To love, and
learning to let go
in the hopes of something better.

To the man at the border telling me that love
was a liability, a threat to homeland security
To ‘I cannot help you stay.’

*

On the flight to Manila,
I am struck by the way the cockpit smells like you
How the fabric of the seat is soft like
your favorite shirt,

And I find myself recoiling from all the memories
I have made in these past few months.

Everything now has a potential
to hurt me, a hook
tethering me to the home I have built
the one I am not allowed to live in.

I am learning about all the things
that have gone on without me
myself
now one of them
that future I did not for see.

But now, all I can do is work
on unlearning the lie that nothing bigger
or better
can happen outside of America.

I am folding away the curtains
and the bedsheets
and turning them into a resume.

I am calling this a lesson learned,
a cautionary tale.

I am learning a new meaning for the words
‘coming home.’