Next time you see Linda,

tell her for me

I did not set out

to spoil the day.


Say it’s not about her;

it’s my crazy dad,

what’s wrong with the world

in general.


Tell her I didn’t mean what I said

about her wanting me

to be someone I’m not.


Tell Linda, it wasn’t about her:

it’s my mother’s green switch

on the backs of my thighs,

the welts and the cursing.


Tell Linda it wasn’t about her

tangling the kite string,

or ruining the picnic,

or not kissing me back after

I called her useless and dumb.


Go tell Linda

I don’t care anymore

if a kite flies or dives

nose first into the ground.


Tell her for me

next time you see her

I still hold her hands

on my chest

as I fall to sleep…