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Mandy Seiner

Brooklyn, NY

Insta: @mandyseiner

Twitter: @mmseiner


Contemplating Coming Out to My Mother During Yom Kippur Services

And what sin is this, that won’t quiet

even on the day of repentance?


I was never taught how to whittle down

my own wanting.


Why should I pray to a god who wants less love?

A god who says ​You know what this world has too much of?

Kisses goodnight.


That god never sang me to sleep— my mother always did.  

I would trust her with my life, but I do not trust her to know all of it.


In our house, there is nothing wrong with these words

when they are in someone else’s mouth.

Our mouths have been so empty for so long.


Please forgive me, these days of awe.


Secretly, I think this is the one thing about me that requires no forgiveness.

everyone i love is in the same room and laughing

if i could freeze this moment and put it in a tiny box i would

carry that box in the front pocket of my overalls forever.

my tiny overalls box would be made of beech wood and have a tiny

gold latch that clicks softly when it closes. i would open it only for

complete strangers on the subway who look like they might know the

answers to all of my questions. i wouldn’t make them answer any

though, just hold my hand. i want every stranger i meet to tell me their

favorite tree. mine is the one with the loud red flowers just past the

South Street gate. if you catch it in the right evening light, it looks like

it’s on fire.

everyone i love is on fire, but in a good way. i fall in love fifty-six

times a day and that’s a conservative estimate. i’m sorry, i just think

that everyone’s eyelashes are so beautiful. i have a no-good filter and

the last time i got tipsy i couldn’t stop saying “thank you” and “isn’t it

wonderful?” i think i am a product of circumstance. of who i am

surrounded by. everyone i love has fingertips like the edges of rose

petals and when they laugh all of the lightbulbs in all of the lamps in

the world turn on. believe me, I’ve seen it happen. a room full of light

can be a family if you make it one. we live in a house made of each

other. my best friend’s arms are the framework and my roommate’s

mop of morning hair is the roof, the only leak it lets in is the sunlight.

i wish I had pockets big enough to keep everyone I love in. pockets

that stretched to los angeles and taipei and glasgow and back. but in

the meantime i’ll keep everyone’s laughter in my tiny container.

open it for strangers on the subway. ask, “isn’t it wonderful?”