For Viv

I only dated Viv for about six months, and it was one of my stranger relationships: we met at a trains-trans meet-up when I visited Boston over winter break in December 2017, and she ghosted everyone she knew (including me) in June 2018 after a mental breakdown. Then, in December 2020, I (and the rest of her Boston friends) learned that she had died. I wrote this poem for her shortly after learning of her death.

“For Viv”
6 December 2020, in Hyattsville, MD

Most autisms, it seems, are cats,
and yours certainly meowed enough.

But you always seemed more like a bird:
fragile, but free, and at home in yourself.

Until your brain caged you in shadows,
and trapped you with fears.

I will try to remember you as a bird:
and think of you spreading your wings wide.