I want you to know that it is okay not to love me.
I want you to know that you are not the first person
who found it a little too tough, who took two steps back
when my jaws started snapping. I want you to know
that I look like I taste like cigarette smoke and scotch,
but I just taste like salt. I promise you are not missing
anything but band-aids and promises bent out of shape
if you run the wrong way when I hold out my hands.
tell me which part of yourself
you hate the most
so I know exactly where to plant my lips
every time I see you
- nayyirah waheed, “birthmarks”