I am defined by his interests.
"Just be yourself," he tells me,
but "myself" isn't good enough.
I open his doors
fill his plate
but the solutions to his mind aren't inside a tea kettle
hot and steaming
and I can't pour him
all over my skin,
hoping to absorb his essence.
And these wooden shoes
aren't the vehicle to mold him into my devoted danna.

  I catch myself thinking,
if only I could be punkier,
If only I'd kept my piercings,
if only I were thinner,
if only I had my 18-year-old self back,
then I would be ideal.
I keep imagining ways to market myself
so I mirror my ideal, his ideals,
the ideals of my ideal

  But the fog over my sense of self is clearing
and I am starting to realize
that it is my quirks
the "me" I am now
that is becomming
and I don't have to wear a thick mask of punkness
or streak my hair with manic panic
to shape myself into his geisha.

  By Marisa Torrieri