Tonight I Am Old Again by Cailin Rhiannon

Tonight I Am Old Again

tomorrow morning i will be
two again and scared of the shadows.
i will be two again and i will not
look out the window unless you are
holding my hand,
i will be two again and my father will
be the biggest man on earth again,

but tonight i am eighteen, i am
eighteen, i am
holding the world in my chest and it is
beating like a heart (well then it must be my heart)
china digs a pattern in my backbone and i
am red red red red
i am a communist daughter and
the trains to shanghai will leave something
to be desired
i am eighteen, i am
all the life in the world
stacked around a schoolruined spine
and the world moves softly and she

touches me gently with her face

and then slides away.
SPACER

tomorrow morning i will be
five again and i will be happy,
i will be five again and i will not
look at my body the way my mother looks at her body,
i will be five again
and people will just be pretty, people will just be
“beautiful,”
tomorrow morning
people will just be
people,

but tonight i am eighteen, i am
eighteen and money is more important than love
so when they pull up in their cars i’ll get in
and forget that my body has a heart, too,
tonight i am eighteen and
i’ll forget that i am a person, too,

tomorrow morning i’ll be sixteen again
and scared of taxes,
i’ll be sixteen again and scared of time
and the wind will scare me and the trees will scare me
and my heart beat-beating in my chest
will scare me,
i’ll be sixteen again and
the adult world will scare me,

but tonight i am eighteen, i am
eighteen and mental illness has a colour scheme,
i am all the life in the world
crammed into an experimental capsule
(first time’s free)
i am eighteen and the world
is soft and dark and
i lick the corners and they smile up at me,

tonight i am eighteen, and i am
eighty-five,

and i am tired, and i am worn,
and i am
unafraid.


Cailin RhiannonCailin Rhiannon is a self-taught poet whose inspiration comes from her backyard laying hens, whose soft noises are actually poems from the Elders that they must recite so they don’t forget. Cailin takes these unintelligible musings and translates, edits, and refines them until they are able to be read by human audiences.

 

 

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