inheritance


I got my smile from my mother.
The way I lean in, scrunch up my eyes,
and shake my head, like the punchline is a fly
buzzing around my head—but I copy
Rose Tyler and her tongue on her teeth.
My laugh is my best friend, loud
and unfettered, and my way of loving
from my fiance, soft and sensible.
My debates sound like my father,
and my poems are just lines I hear
from the people around me.

But I cry like my mother, streaks on my face
and scream like my father on his hardest days.
I bury my emotions like my fiance
and drag them back out at my friend,
kicking and screaming injustice.
I cry like my mother
and my sister cries like me.

There are moments when I speak,
act, think, and I am not able to trace it
back to the people in my mirror.
The scariest thoughts, I get at 3:00 AM,
when I wonder if the worst parts of myself
are the ones that only belong to me alone.

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