if there are conditions for your happiness, you will never be happy

In six words I can sum up
everything I’ve learned about life:
you can’t make somebody love you.
(& if you try it’s just likely
that you need to love yourself first.)
Even pop songs these days remind us
that self-love is the first love
but days pass like tests and I’ve
measured out my life in
gratitude lists that pile up in corners
of apartment buildings that will
never be home until I build the home
within and use these habits as kindling
for the warmth I come to give myself —
reading my own story in the glow
of the palm of my hand.