When the students weren’t the only ones
taking home new knowledge everyday.
When he brought home a candy bar
from the gas station
even though I said, “nah I’m good.”
When I didn’t rely on others
to validate me, affirm me –
because I knew what I was doing
was my best and it was good enough –
When I stopped sabotaging myself,
selling myself short,
stuck on the worst case scenario,
always wondering when it would all fall
apart – as though I was just summoning
those bad vibes to join me in bed
every damn night until they took control
and now –
happiness is just a memory.
stuffed to the basement
with everything else I forgot I needed.