slowly, we learn irremittable truths: lemons
will never be substitute for eyedrops,
treasures that look like trash will be thrown away,
everyone interrupts, and clocks
don't measure time at all.  that time you brewed ten cups of coffee
the same morning you learned how;
that time you told your pudgy friend
that the boy across the road thought she was a princess (your first lie to save the world)
that time you fell in love with a cat, a teacher, a flower, a song

the noise and the tempest of a household disaster—the shelves
join in, the pots, the pans,
the running water racks up bills,
glare of your father's mouth,
the one relative who insists they can sing,
incessant gale of dogs outside—

all irremittable truths.  you learn that there are streets hidden
from maps, that a haircut will signify
change, a résumé will summarize years of your life, and
there will be awkward moments of curiosity as you catch a stranger gazing
from the corner of your
eye and you
will never leave it all behind, their handwriting and footprints marching
mountains on your skin.