I never made anybody cry before
without meaning to.
I never saw anybody go from conversation
to weeping before I knew
what I was saying.
What I was saying was about how I couldn’t
make my parents proud,
could never top their expectations of me
because at the bottom of all my to-do lists
is the one that says “surprise them,”
the one that never gets checked
because I couldn’t fail, even for them.
They just knew I couldn’t do that.
But it’s no consolation to her
that whenever I hop a plane or a bus
they say “Bring us a postcard,” or
“If you move there just let us know first”
when I wish for once they’d say “Don’t go.”
And I never heard anybody say
“I wanna be like you”
because she thinks she does
and I never wanted to cry so much.
It’s no consolation to me.