I needed to be stronger.
To be their big boy.
So no matter how much it hurt
I would eat.
I couldn't be fat.
Couldn't be ugly.
It was time to throw it all up.
The food that came from their hands
was promised to be magic
filling me in all the right ways.
But as soon as it hit my vile tongue
the magic left
and all it gave me was fat
shooting out of my body in acid-tasting
waves of disgust.
I guess the magic skipped a generation.
When my friend tells me he fell in love with a *******
he is crying. He tells me he should be happy,
that he gets to have *** with him whenever he can pay
but he knows the hands that hold him
are tight for grip instead of love.
It strikes me that sometimes
getting everything you want hurts more
than having nothing.
The love of my life never loved me back.
We only kissed once, and she had a crush on
some other guy anyway.
But I couldn't get enough of her.
Whenever she cried I felt
like I couldn't breathe.
And the next time I would
see her smile my pulse would quicken,
as if my blood was trying to get out to
show her that our hearts were
still pounding at us.
And who knows. Maybe love will come
back to me. Maybe this time it will
look at me and smile.
But I will always remember that kiss.
The way she leaned towards me in the dark
so she could deny it ever happened in the morning
and filled me with such electricity
I wanted to cry, because I've never felt
more alive than when I was on fire.
My best friend tells me that she was born in the wrong time.
That her viking ancestors would be ashamed of how much
she can't handle. How she's no warrior.
So I take her to a powwow that my sister's dancing at
and let her feel the vibrations of the drums
pound through her feet.
I tell her maybe our war drums are our heartbeats.
She's fighting herself and using razors as her soldiers.
I say, if you need sharp things let's use arrows to figure
out where east is so we can run towards the rising sun
like my ancestors did.
We can use words as our shield walls in battle
and I can be the dragon head on your ship
to scare off the enemy in dark and foggy times.
If you want to get a little pagan I'll burn all my sage for you
and we can pray to all the gods we've heard stories of.
I'll teach you all the tricks my shima’ sani taught me.
We are warriors. But is it selfish of me to hope that you
never go to Valhalla? I want you to live long after
the fighting ends.
I was six the first time I peed my pants in
the dark basement of my grandma's house
rather than face my grandfather upstairs
who slept in front of the bathroom door
so we couldn't use it at night.
I haven't spoken a word in almost a month.
I don't use notes or ASL or charades
to get my message across instead,
because I have nothing to say.
What bothers me the most is,
when I finally open my mouth,
they still won't be ready to listen.
You hear it all the time. It's cliche, it's played out.
God it's so boring. Get over it.
You get over it.
Then one night you look at your life
and you hate her for it.
Why did she make you if
she didn't want you?
If she was going to walk out on you
and leave you with a father who
didn't mind getting violent.
If she was going to marry again
and have two perfect little girls
who are going to get the childhood
that should have been yours.
If she wasn't going to save you.
If she wasn't going to come back for you,
even though she promised she would.
If she was going to look the other way
after you told her you were eating an
apple for dinner for the fourth night
in a row because dad forgot to feed you again.
When she knew that her and dad both came
from a long line of mental instability,
why did she decide to pass that on?
Why would she make you,
if she wasn't going to love you?