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GUEST POET // Margarita Gurgutsova : 3

i did not learn how to look at myself in the mirror

but i did learn how to walk dark alleys without getting murdered

how to take care of older, drunker people that promised to be sober

how to go to a funeral and then go to work covered slightly in ashes

how to hold my tongue even when i believed my words could change the world ever so slightly

i learnt how to tie my shoelaces on a moving train while holding grocery bags

how to say no and no and no and no and no and no and when no one heard

i learnt to keep to myself so i won’t have to say anything

i know how to fix broken things now like clocks, chairs, shelves, an occasional bike, myself (often complicated mechanisms but i try)

i know how to write and mean it and not delete words and think of new ones so someone else who reads it would feel better

i know that if i yell into the silence and nothing yells back then that is a sign to move on

i know that four lines of cocaine, a few of ket and whisky is fine but you shouldn’t mix any more

you could, i could, but we all really should just have a good time and not overdo it

i know how long i can dance in the rain and then find shelter so i don’t get a fever

i know that if it’s too hot, i can’t function; if it’s too cold, i want to die

i know that if i bathe in warm sunlight i will feel best and accomplish most

i know i like to say i love you to people close to me

i know despite me saying it a lot, i only do it because i won’t have much time

i know i laughed with a boy about time being a concept, and i know i liked him very much

i know how to walk away now

i know how to keep plants from dying

i know how to cook cili mushrooms with sesame oil and bihoon

i know how to steal something from a convenience store

i know how to steal something from a grocery store

i know how to steal words from people’s mouths and shove new ones in and i don’t do this very often but when i do, i really hate myself

i know how to speak four languages and not be proud of it ever until someone starts reciting reasons

i know how to hate everything i stand for

i know how to hate my background and wonder why i hate it when i can just stop using hate when i can’t even remember most of the things from my childhood

i learnt how to swim, sink, dig myself into a hole and then out again

i learnt good friends can disappear without a trace by no one’s fault except they just do sometimes and no reason is a reason

i learnt how to take two minute showers

how to study under candle light

how to study for ten hours, and for ten minutes

how to speak to elders and completely mislead them about my age

how to lie and lie and lie and lie

and now i’ve got a scrapbook of things i’ve learnt

but i’ve never learned how to look into a mirror, and love myself

🎨/📷 by Frida Kahlo, The Wounded Deer, 1946


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