She forgot to grow up
and take the big decisions in life
about mortgage,
the inevitable haunt of love,
and how much sugar she wants
in her tea.

She spent her time
beading her fragmented thoughts
into the minutes
which turned into long
necklaces of hours
and her interrupted self.

So, when the time came to decide
where she wanted to go
when they razed her house
in their blinded bigotry,
she had no shelter to call home.
When the time came that she was asked
what her name was,
she could not tell
because she was always called ‘Little.’
When the time came
that she had to find someone
to hold on to
she had no one.

She didn’t decide the books
she was going to read, or
the boys she was going to kiss.
Or even how her words were
disjointed in impoliteness
and even brutal honesty.
Her actions followed
the inebriation of her heart and
its dazed steps.
Shadows intersected when she walked,
chasing her into places
they were scared to go themselves.
And when they followed her at night,
they took forms and watched her –
the hanging streetlight,
the tawny cat –
watched her while she
abandoned her spirit,
missed a step,
and the abused the
gracelessness of her hip.
When daylight came, she was found safe,
and sorry that she was safe,
perpetually sorry.
While the streetlights evaporated,
and the cat?
The cat disappeared,
like they always do.

She didn’t build herself
the life that came from concrete
She just spent it floating above the city
and watching the people around her
with beaded eyes
that were coal-black.
But oh!
You could light those eyes,
and they’d turn red
and gold,
and even give light and warmth.

She didn’t decide to be the girl
who had taken no decisions.
So when the time came
to decide who she really was,
she was content with
And she was content with
And she was content with