I Wish You Knew

When filling out forms at a doctors office, I skip the ‘family history’ section.

The forms don’t matter anyway, the doctor will ask me again,

“Any family history of blah blah…” I tune it out.

Not purposefully, but instinctively, my ears switch to a lower frequency and I’m lost to the question.

I wish I could give an answer,

“Yes, my grandparents had heart problems, yes, my father was diabetic, yes, my sisters had more mental disorders than I do.”

Maybe if I had an answer, then you

would be more willing to help me through whatever pain I’m going through but,

All I say is no.

Because I do not know.

I came in for a checkup, not a therapy session.

So excuse me a second,

I am holding back tears, still mourning the loss of a person who doesn’t exist outside of my twisted fantasies of what life would’ve been if I were never adopted.

This is not a diss,

I do not regret the life I chose to live.

It was the only option I was offered, I just wish

I could see where she would sleep.

Does she get her own room or have to share with siblings?

Is her bed facing the door or window?

Is there a window, big enough to crawl

through the sounds of cities and visit the neighborhood?

Wow you have a neighborhood?

Does her house have an A/C or does she leave her rotating fan on during heated summer nights?

Is her house off the street or in a cul-de-sac?

Does she have a bike or car?

Maybe a scooter perhaps.

Does she ride down to her friends’ place and wait for her mama to finish braiding her hair?

Does she have a job?

Does she want one to feel mature or had to help support her family?

Is she lonely or do the chimes of daily text messages keep her occupied?

How many friends are waiting for a reply?

If she disappeared for more than a day, would anyone notice that she was gone?

Because I have dropped off the map more times than I would like.

A silent cry for help and no one seemed to care that my Instagram was disabled.

Left off to the worlds of unknown possibilities and no one saw me leaving.

Jumped over obstacles I didn’t realize I was leaping.

Fell so many times, I just got used to the bleeding and

When I looked back on my progress, I was the only one cheering.

I do not regret the life that I chose to live,

I just wish she knew how I envy her.

Envy her freedom to be present in a place that accepts her head to toe.

Trapped in my mind where she’ll never have to suffer all the things that I know.

A figment of my imagination, I envy the exaggeration of the girl I might’ve been.

And I’m sure she’s thinking,


what a life you’ve been so fortunate to live.

Given to a family of white privilege.

You never had to worry which friend would become an addict,

a stripper,

gunned down on the street,

slinging dope,

flipping burgers.

You never saw your brother end up behind bars,

your mother care more for her partner than her kids,

your father have a plethora of side bitches,

and the whole block knows.

You got yearly trips to Disneyland,

every toy you ever asked for,

unlimited data plan for the iPhone whichever-the-fuck,

when your laptop broke, you got another one.

When your mother gives you jewelry that you don’t even ask for,

how does it feel to be wearing literal gold?

Those diamonds in your ears lookin’ real nice, you know.

You got out,

wherever you wanted to go.

And it’s still not enough?


I am not real,

And I wish you could know

how I envy the role that you get to play.

‘Black girl whitewashed away.’

You say

You do not regret the life you chose to live.

There was no choice, this is it.

There was no deck, this is it.

Take the card that you were given and

Fucking run with it.

Because if I were you, Elizabeth,

with all the pain in your heart and the world that you live in,

if I were you,

I would be doing things a whole lot different.”


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