when you tell your friend about me

tell them the truth
do not sugarcoat who I have been
tell them i do not like onions
but i appreciate how they are layered
and they make you cry even if you love them.

share that
i am between young & not so young
i have not had an easy life and sometimes it feels as if it has not been too difficult
explain to them that the hardest obstacle I've survived was not the bullet
that pierced my mother’s flesh while i was in the womb
nor was it the second bullet that pierced her while I was at her side at 8 or 9
explain to them that at 26,
it was being fully present while losing she who raised me, my Granny.
tell them that. that. almost. took me out.
tell them i am a fighter and I at times cannot take no for an answer

tell them i am a survivor
who remembers laughing often
tell them even on my worst days i still search for joy and that i do not go to bed without acknowledging if  i smiled or giggled or knew I was loved
that day.

you can share simple things too
like my favorite color is green,
it reminds me of life at its best
you can say i am tall and not yet as tall as my dad although he is shrinking,
because, age

maybe add
i love music and that I’m a good dancer which makes me a good lover
they need to know i also swoon over shades of brown skin

and tell them i’ve only been in love twice
and out of the 2, i was with 1 for years
and it ended the best way it could’ve,
the same as it started, with love.

tell them about my religion,
god is love and love is god
& both are all things good.

when you tell your friend about me
tell them,
i am simple not basic.
layered not fractions.
complex not complicated, which is why I like algebra and struggle at geometry.

tell them
I will not be on any apps searching for love
but if I am there and love is too
then that may make a good story one day
which is to say, i try not to deny myself of the possibility of wonder

and tell them
i do not have a hard time saying sorry
when i am wrong
and i am more right than not

end it and
tell them I haven’t any time to waste
and I don’t really believe in time
see how they respond to that
or any of this

notice how they react
see if they feel insecure
if they shrink or
if they lean in, be intrigued

these small cues will tell you
if we would be able to jump into my car on the coldest day in autumn and drive west if we need to
and end up at the ocean.
let them know I love water
big bodies of water.

tell them I am a whiz at knowing how to particularly make those i love feel
individually special.
tell them i am still learning
how to balance these gifts.

tell them about my giant heart
in a standard body.
and although i am cracks and magic
i am whole and real
and sometimes, I forget things too