The lady at rehab asks me what I want to be when I die.
I tell her I want to be a tree.
I look outside at the leaves falling, singing to the ground. I want to be born and reborn again.
The class looks at me oddly.
The boy in the black jacket says nothing, doodles furiously on his paper.
I think of the third floor of the apartment building with the great balcony that I wanted to jump off of.
I think of car crashes in slow motion.
Tell me about yourself, they say.
I am afraid of too many things.
When it rains I don’t leave my house.
I can’t go through drive thrus. I
can’t stand in long lines at the grocery store.
There Are Too Many Scary Things In The World, my brain says.
There Are Things That Must Be Magic, I argue back softly. Softly like a hum in a hurricane.
The boy in the cemetery is reading poetry to me. I think, this is what love must be like.
I wonder if the trees are listening. I wonder if the gravestones creak with each turning page.
When I die, I say, I want to be a tree.
In the desert there is nothing but the sound of your heartbeat.
I listen to the 9,198 days the machine in me roars.
No matter the wreckage, the scars on the body, the soft taste of metal under my tongue.
The boy in the car holds my hands during certain songs.
He looks at me like there is magic under my eyelids.
The cacti tell me to go home.
I want to be a tree.
I get up, I leave class, I wash my dirty palms in the sink.
I stick them to the soil.
The machine in me roars, not yet.
I step away from the edge of the balcony.
The boy in the bookstore reads me children’s books.
I think this is what love sounds like when it rains.
I wipe the soil from underneath my fingernails, I think, this can wait.