because a girl on the train told her life story and her smoke-soaked words fell into my ears.

"we're reaching
for something, some thing,
and we're too far.

so we fill
that space
with all
we can
grasp. pain, mostly."

because the word "sorry" slips through my teeth
more easily
than "hello".

because i'm made up of receptors, and chemicals
i don't remember the names of.
the wrong size for words, and words
the wrong size for conversation.

images that blot my thoughts when i sleep -
and nights i don't sleep, and instead
rebuild myself in winter breath burn
- as through frostbite would be enough

to stop the earthquakes
from fingerprints to fault lines, to life lines,
from eyes to headlines, to break
through confines of boredom and border lines
in a minefield mind.

because when i crossed that hall where strangers' faces
pressed against me like waves,
to speak to a receptionist with hair so white
it was almost blue,
like snow-

i couldn't do it.
but i did.

because i want to know these hungry shapes in my head the way they know me.

because i was told if i wanted answers i had to make my own mistakes.

and because i did.
because i got answers.
because i spent the next thirty-two days in my room under the covers hiding
from the question.

because the last five years have been skydiving with a damaged parachute,
and even as i drifted into adrenaline-laced grass stains,
i wondered
if next time
i'd crash.

because i spent my days trying to feel less
and my nights trying to feel different
and now, now
i think maybe i'm ready
to try to want to feel better.

because i held back; i never fully tried
because things weren't working, and
i wanted to believe that if i really tried,
i could fix them. but then i tried.

i gave away everything i had in me, and it wasn't

because that's all i need:
rather than
almost enough.