raising awareness

the first time i was aware was second grade.
levels were high. we all got way too aware at once.
some children covered their faces. a boy 
kicked me in the shin until i became a boy too.
that's how it works.
outside the snow turned to palm sized 
glass minitures & then no one at all was looking at me.
i saw this swirl of fabric light.
blinked & blinked. the color was purple
or maybe red. i took notes in a start-stop diary.
always got too scared of someone reading it
so i wrote about boy-love & then 
ate the pages. the trouble is i have
spread myself pastry thin. i should have 
waited years to become aware but instead
it kept pouring. the bathtub full. 
my mother told me it was embarassing.
i needed to cover it up if i was going 
to walk around all aware & all. breathed 
into a conch shell. the ocean gave me tips & tricks
for eluding my own heart. it's not easy 
remembering the geography of the largest bruise.
little continent. tied ribbons around
all the girl necks i loved so no ones head
would float up & get stuck on the ceiling.
so aware & so tired, i would often
fill my mouth with marshmallow & just
try to rest a little. marshmallow is
the opposite of awareness. soft 
& prone to melting. i left my hand prints 
on the bathroom stall next to 
some writing that said "tell me 
i'm not the only one." i muttered
"you're not" even though for all i know
they might be. i'm the only one who saw 
what i saw. or at least i'm the only one
with the home video. it's not even really
something raised-- it's more something
severing. there's the me before
& the me who reads every turn 
as an omen. i try to ensure safety.
i guard all the glass animals 
& stroke their stunned skin. my awareness
of my body is like a static TV
in a gymnasium or a bowl of milk.
it rearrives this time each year
along with the alien flowers & the rain. 

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