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Apr 2014
3rd grade, 4th grade:
A sickening drop in my stomach,
My head is in the lowest gear.
I know that they live such different lives,
And yet we are connected by blood.
I can hear my pulse stop from the beat of their music,
I can feel my abdomen shrink into my spine as they yell at their mother,
I can see my hands shake even though we have the same blue eyes and same round cheeks.
I am terrified of their reality.

8th grade, 9th grade:
Strangers produce this physiological change in me:
Those with dark eyes, dark hair-
Those who are obviously different from me.
I am scared of realities I know aren't mine.

12th grade, 13th grade:
The reality I came to love is what frightens me the most.
The 4th grader within me is trembling in my palms,
She is crying in my ears,
Trying to cover up the sounds of your hiccups,
Trying to cover up the feeling of your tremors in my arms.
I trust you with my life,
But I don't trust you with your own.
I am frightened of a reality that I cannot protect.

14th grade, 15th grade:
Strength keeps me moving -
Both physical and mental.
I have carved out my own reality,
But lack an understanding of those I used to fear.
It's not in the beats of their music,
It's not in how you grind your teeth,
Or how you haunt me in my dreams.
I feel like my body is bruised -
I swear I can see the purple fade into green fade into pale skin.
I become absolutely afraid of what I still have the inability to do-
I cannot ever save anyone I feel for.
My fear is of not being a hero,
Not of you being the villain.

And sometimes
When I'm the villain,
I dream of heroes cutting me down.
I begin to believe in all-or-nothing, black-or-white justice
Where I am the only road block to a preferred reality.
So just cut me off, push me out, hit me down.
I don't want to make anyone ever feel the sickening drop
In body temperature
That has defined my idea of fear.
I don't want to be anybody's idea of failure.
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