Amanda Gorman is the Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States and Founder of Onepenonepage.org. Her first collection of poetry, entitled “The One for Whom Food Is Not Enough”, was published by Penmanship Books in 2015, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and award-winning anthologies.
How I Convince Myself to Love Myself
I mother myself.
Sometimes I crawl deep into my own flesh
And wait for a vision.
It is her cloaked in sage, jasmine, candle wax.
I love the lost child back to life.
She has my face, but isn’t me.
Every place he touched her I kiss,
And bruises bloom into roses.
I rock her with her own unfamiliar arms,
My hands make homage of hurt,
Cramming her empty eye sockets
With my will for her to live.
Darling, love, daughter.
The words leap from my larynx
And bury themselves in her brown.
All at once I am my own daughter, mother, grandmother.
I am in a rocking chair, womb, and crib.
I am the rocking chair, womb, and crib.
I am both victim and healing lady of the moon.
If I can’t hold myself together,
Then I’ll just hold myself
For my own sake.
I mean—for her own sake.