In my age and frailty. In my anger and hostility. With my political leanings opposed to yours, with my broken soul, armed and unyielding, in my protection. In my manipulations. When you see me on the island of the highway with a sign.
When I don’t speak your language. Though I came here avoiding your laws. When I don’t have health care. When I can’t afford groceries. When the neurons in my brain are so jumbled I can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality. When we share no reality.
Have nothing in common.
When I am dark. Cold in my disposition. Pained in every inch of my body. When every portrayal of me in the media suggests I am loose, and cheap, and easy to treat like property. Easier to simply ignore. When I am petty. When I am overconfident. When I am devout.
When I am not interested in your opinion and don’t trust you have my best interest. When I am arrested. When I am irritated. When I am resisting. When I am convicted. When I am tried in the court of public opinion.
I need you, in that moment, to look at me and see kin, see friend. I need you to look on me with the unconditional love of a mother. With the wide eyes of a child. With the proud protection of a father. With the simplest solutions in mind. If I am hungry, feed me. If I am cold, clothe me. If I am ill take me to someone who can help.
See in me not the other, but kith. Ask yourself what you would do if you knew my name. If we had gone together to third grade, to the prom, through orientation. If I had been the one to protect you when no one protected you. If we held hands in the hospital.
What would you do if you loved me? If I was your ghost, the long lost you still adore. The one you think about in sleep, who you would do anything for. If I called, even today. In the middle of any night. Or anytime.
The half of you you miss desperately, who returned, after once getting away.