By Sarah Kay
You jaywalked your way out of the womb.
I would recognize you anywhere
by the hiccup in your swagger. Tell me,
where in the world did you find all that thunder?
There have never been any seat belts on your side of the car.
You have always known the better magic tricks.
You told me once that I was just the first draft,
and I’m inclined to believe you, but you came
with a lot more pieces to assemble and
Mom and Dad never got the manual.
Your compass always points north.
But it’s a bit of a crapshoot as to whether or not
you’ll ever walk in that direction. I like that.
It keeps people on their toes.
On the merry-go-round of your life, the carousel ponies
are all narwhals. Their horns point straight up.
The day they build you a constellation, it will be
the entire F Train spread across the Milky Way.
You will be a satellite that dips in and out of every car
the moment the train comes to a stop, pissing off
everybody on the subway platform, and kicking up
stardust in your wake. You can solve a Law & Order
episode before the first commercial break.
Once, when you were seven, you came into the kitchen
and asked Mom, Does my name begin with the letter P
because P is the sixteenth letter of the alphabet and
I was born on June sixteenth, and is Sarah just Sarah because
S is the nineteenth letter of the alphabet and
she was born on the nineteenth day of June?
And when Mom said no, you nodded your head
and left the room mumbling to yourself,
Okay. Just salt and pepper then.
You are my favorite stick of dynamite.
You are the opposite of a rubber band.
There are so many things I would tell you
if I thought that you would listen
and so many more you would tell me
if you believed I would understand.
I hope you know that you were never meant to wear my shadow.
In fact, I’m the one who always steals your shoes.
But is that my sweatshirt you’re wearing? It’s okay, you can keep it.
I won’t tell your secret. In fact, it really does look better on you.