the mortifying ordeal of being known

sometimes, i think i said things i didn’t; nothing big. just an mmhmm or okay, shouted down the hall, while i’m reading a book or watching tv. and i swear i said yes, but even when she’s right across the room, my mom can’t hear me.

sometimes, i walk into a room and can’t remember what i meant to do. and i know it was important, but right now my mind is a million miles away. so i’ll cry through the morning, thinking about the fact that i can never not impact the world in some way.

and the most inconsequential thing i say could change someone’s life. and what if i change it wrong, all right? what if i fuck up, what if i’m the butterfly that causes the tsunami? and no apology can make up for the wrong i’ve done. but i still hope you know i’m sorry. that i think about this stuff, every single day.

and i hope you’ll forgive me, for every instance of bleach-stained cowardice, cupped in my palms. i hope you’ll remember me for something greater than all of my mistakes. i hope the concept of a legacy will stop making me sick someday.

but i doubt it. because the weight of my death rests heavy on my shoulders. so i’ll drag it along with me, as i swim upstream.

i’ll make it work. probably. but who fucking knows. maybe i’ll sink to the bottom, unforgiven and alone. and is it that better, or worse? if my skeleton feeds the fish, if the remnants of my flesh melt into dirt, and no one comes to my funeral. because nobody can remember me long enough to really grieve at all.

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