i heard from my mother that
i must be a complete person
before i can love.
well, i have been an architect.
i have poured concrete for years,
and i have a brutal building
that looks built to last.
that’s a mistake –
to try to outlast life.
i will never be whole.
for all my learning,
i know less than socrates
but I do know this:
you deserve something that grows –
let us be gardeners.
i want to love you in a tangle of vines –
i’ll peer through the mess of green
and there you’ll be, okay with me as I am –
as I cry inside a fleece like a child
or cut down enemies with my mother’s tongue.
let us tend to our garden each day.
there’s the routine:
the light of a litle lamp for us to share.
we sleep in a small jungle
until i am in dreamland –
you are senseless till morning
Lisa Zhang is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her work deals with perfectionism and its effects on psychotherapy. When not writing academic articles, she writes fiction and poetry.
Animated Illustration by Meghan Ang