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Selma Bee Sep 2016
I know that you don't get it.
How could you?
How could you
Get what no one here
Had wanted you to believe?

And she meant well
She always meant well.

Lines from a poem
I had written many moons ago.
Lines I had never ever expected
Someone to say
When talking about me.

And that's the thing about writing a poem when you have your life together and you are, in that moment, infinite.

You write the words
That you want someone to use
When they talk about you;
The words that you think
When you talk about you,
But these words are for you
And for your ears only.

So when someone tells you them,
You stutter in your tracks.

It's a yellow light
And eighteen wheels.
A halt that should never have been.
A glimmer of hope
Mixed with sounds of despair.
Everything you had never wanted
Beside all you had always longed for.

It could have been fate,
If fate came in small packages
With tri-colored hair
And a wonderfully soothing voice.

There is something about the way
That life falls out of place
When people just tell you
All the words
You had never intended to hear.
Selma Bee Oct 2015
Once, I was told that it would take two years,
Once break,
And 6 months more
To have braces and be complete.

I was then told that
5 standard deviations
Meant an extra two years.

An extra two years
Two sets of braces
A jaw surgery
Which would get delayed a year.

Typically making progress
Means hearing something new
Each time you come in.

I have heard the same **** thing
Each and every time
I sit down in that plastic chair
And get two hours of torture.

I have had braces for 7
Going on 8

Most people have them for
Six months.
Then, they are done with them

A jaw surgery
And an extra set of braces later,
Only to begin again.

Plastic things on my teeth
To fix the ******* bite
That apparently 6 weeks of no chewing
Wasn't good enough to accomplish.

Because I know what they
Do when they are really
"Almost done" with your braces.

They don't try to fix your bite
With two pieces of plastic
When they made you think in 9th grade
That jaw surgery was right around the corner.

And then it got pushed to the next year.
And then to the following summer.
And then to the summer after that.

8 years
I have had braces on my teeth
And looked in the mirror
And knew I never fit in.

Because everyone gets braces off
In the middle of sophomore year.
That's when I prepared for jaw surgery.

Jaw surgery
Was apparently not enough.
Because 12 thousand dollars and 6 weeks
Are no match for two pieces of plastic.

Two pieces of plastic
That are to stay on my teeth
For six months.

Two pieces of plastic
That took 6 minutes to put on
And 6 hours to kick into effect
And 6 months to come off.

Because it is "carrying on"
To want one birthday
Where I can eat a caramel apple and popcorn.

Because when I was 10, I got braces
For the very first time.
I couldn't chew a granola bar
Because my teeth were too sore.

I got a bite plate
That made it impossible to talk
And no one understood me.

I have spent seven years
Trying to hold it in and pretend
That it really doesn't matter;
I'm not the first person to have braces.

But has everyone else had them for seven years
Only to be told that even jaw surgery
Isn't enough to get them off?

Has everyone else waited 6 weeks
To finally be able to eat pasta
And then go to the orthodontist
And be back at ******* square one?

I don't think they have.
And it really doesn't matter if
Other kids have braces, too.

It is "carrying on" because
I want them off.
I want to hear that they
Can actually come off.

Stop instilling hope in me
That they'll come off soon
And say that it'll be 6 months more.

I have had braces in every school picture
Of every single yearbook
And I have never been able to fit in
And the braces aren't helping.

People smile and show their teeth.
This is something I've never liked to do.
Who wants to show off her braces?

I am 18 and I get the
******* pleasure of
Becoming an adult
While still having ******* braces.

At 18,
I should be able to eat a caramel apple
Or whatever the hell I want.

Hell, I can smoke at 18.
I can have tons of people in my car.
I can drive past midnight.
I can even vote for the president.

But I can't have a senior picture without braces.
I can't eat a caramel apple
Or even chew gum.

My entire life
I have been the fat girl with braces
And I have never ever fit in.
So maybe it matters to me.

But apparently I need them
Or else I'll have to do it all over
When I am 30.

My mom thinks that I shouldn't complain
Because my brother has
The same plastic things on his teeth.
Yes, but he gets braces for only two years.

I will turn 18 and he will get them off.
I will be 19 and probably still have braces
Because they never seem to come off.

All I know is that it would be worth it
To pull off the braces myself
And finally, for once,
Feel as though I actually fit in with everyone.
Selma Bee Jun 2015
The odd thing is that
Only certain people are
Allowed to get picked on

When she’s pretty
Maybe even itty-bitty,
She cannot be a target

When she is ugly.
Or has a different way of being,
She can only be a target.

It is acceptable to look at one
Who is so very different
And then keep on insulting

If he is a sports star
Then he must be wonderful
And is never to be picked on.

If he is smart and clever.
Wears glasses, maybe, then
He can only be less sought after.

It is said that all are
To be treated equally.
But this is never lived out.

She is told that she
Can be anything she wants,
As long as she looks the part.

She is told that she must
Be brilliant and then
Falls apart when she fails once.

It can be as bad as to create
One’s identity for her as
It is to deprive her of one.

He is told that
He must play sports
He must get perfect grades.

Perchance he doesn’t,
Opting instead for art,
Never aware of it’s hefty price.

Apparently only the
Pretty girls can pick
On others.

But the smart ones
Can throw a
Much, much larger punch.

When you are
At a disadvantage,
The ***** are in your court.

Because the pretty girl
Who has no real friends
Cannot be bullied.

It is not viewed
As something wrong
When done to certain people.

We accept that some
Get picked on, deciding
That it’s how the world works.

Because the popular guy
Who wants to dance
Does not understand pain.

Bullying is only seen
As taking one’s freedom. Never
As telling one how to live his life.

Because, somehow,
You are never allowed
To be pretty and smart.

Because you are
Only allowed to be
Society’s perception of you.

You are allowed to be fat.
But then you must be comedic.
Never can you be a fat dramatic.

Because it isn’t over until the fat lady sings.
She is always the comic relief.
Never is she the leading lady.

You are allowed to be short.
But then you must be petite.
Never are you just something ordinary.

Because retailers makes special jeans
For the tall and the short,
Forgetting how it highlights the differences.

We pick out the differences
And choose to make these
The prominent points.

We don’t look at what’s the same
Because then we’d have to admit
That none are really any better.

We all want to be better than
Someone else around us.
It’s simply the way the world goes around.

All I wanted was acceptance.
All she wanted was kindness.
All he wanted was to have fun.

But we all wanted to be seen
As something more than ourselves,
As something extraordinary.

We all want to
Feel amazing, to think
That we are worth a lot.

But only if we play
That role we were assigned
Are we allowed to feel we’re worth something.
Selma Bee Jun 2015
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good rumor as much as the next guy. Some of them are actually quite lovely and kind. Some of them have come from a really kind heart who gave one of the most amazing grains of truth. Sometimes rumors are the truth. It’s just that, most often, they are not. For shame.

Perhaps I have gone way too long being jaded by the idea that people really are generally good and that they would never want to hurt others. This may be the worst idea that I could make in my life, but I am choosing to believe that it is in fact one of the better ones. Maybe I want the world to be good.

See, you all go around, thinking that nothing good comes without a price to pay and neglect to mention that the same is true for bad things. You cannot do something bad without giving up something that would otherwise delight you. These two ideas have become fois, and, as foils, they cannot come without the other.

It has come to my attention that one can think anything which she wants. This is only the beginning of the wrongdoings. When one can think anything, what is to stop her from doing anything? There is no way to stop actions when you have so boldly fought for the right to think them up.

But she asked about my forearm. I did not want to answer. And she did not push me to say anything about it. As it always goes, I don’t know what she should have done instead, just that I did not like that, which she did do. It is so very complicated when someone wants to help. I don’t want it. But she does.

It is not as though there isn’t a lovely backstory. Believe me, there is a large book somewhere that I could call my backstory. It would chronicle my entire life’s doing, from the first time I was hurt to the first time I hurt someone else. It would say everything that I cannot.

When I was five, I broke my arm for the first time. I ran into my mom’s car. It was parked. I was trying to steer a bike. Turns out I couldn’t. Years later, in 3rd grade, I would finally stop being afraid and learn how to bike. Still didn’t like it. Years later, in 7th grade, I would find out that it was actually my elbow that I had broken.

Some girls who I thought were my friends picked on me for it. It may have been my first experience of getting picked on for being different. It did not matter one little bit, though. I had my friends. We were five. We all make mistakes. I just learned that not everyone can be trusted with anything.

At the age of six I was in kindergarten and there was a girl who did not like me very much, if at all. She picked on me. I was a skinny little thing back then. I have seen pictures. But that did not contribute to the picking on me. Nope. I was picked on because I really liked to eat salads. Salad. I was bullied because I liked salad.

And I was always very nice to her. I can attribute this to a lot of different things, but I think it was because I knew that fighting back wouldn’t accomplish anything. So, I ended up choosing to hang out with guys. There were more of them at the school, anyway. And so I learned that different people can be beneficial.

This girl who bullied me was never someone that I was mad at. I remember that she had a lot of animals at her house. I remember being so jealous because she had every type of pet imaginable and I only had a fish. I named my fish banana head. It was yellow. But this girl had so many pets.

It is funny, in a way. I know that years later it would be told to me that her home life wasn’t exactly perfect. Maybe I hadn’t known that much when I was that little, but I did know not to throw fire to extinguish fire. I think that I was so willing to find good that I did find it. I learned that everyone deserves to be cared about.

In third and fourth grade, there were these two girls. They were nice enough. I can’t exactly pinpoint why it was that they did not like me, but I have my suspicions. I was the fat girl at that point. And, to top it all off, I was in an advanced academics program. I was prone to all the bullying. Didn’t know it.

But this is not the point. The point is that they hurt me and wrote me a letter in my yearbook telling me that I should apologize to them. And so I did. I felt so terrible for having hurt them that I asked for forgiveness. I did get it. They were not without hearts. And so I learned that the loser must give in to demands.

To talk about the next few years is a crazy mess. But there was one time when I saw this guy cry. He was talking about how his sister was mean. I guess that this is a common thing with older siblings. He was this guy that everyone thought was rude and immature. But, from that day on, I had a soft spot for him.

Jump ahead a few years and he and I are in the same German class. He is there, talking with his friend. They begin by having a puzzle solving competition. These guys, who are brilliant, are racing to solve a puzzle. But they talk about the funny things they did in second grade. There was a stick one of them found.

They were the type of guys who had a lot going for them and perhaps I was the only one who saw that one guy who all others had found immature as being absolutely brilliant. He just didn’t try. People are so much more than the facade they lead you to believe. That’s how I learned to look before judging.

But I know that my appearance has always made me feel like the ugly duckling in the room. I have been waiting for so long to become a beautiful swan. A lovely, skinny, beautiful one. Once I was tricked into seeing a therapist about it. Had I known, I may have given it a shot. Thought it was a weight loss clinic.

In eighth grade this new girl came into school. She was from Florida. She was pretty and skinny and blonde, which should have gone without saying. She was everything that I could never be. And my group of friends came to the realization that she was better and picked her over me. Can’t blame them.

In middle school, my theatre teacher gave me roles that were absolutely gorgeous roles and told me I did wonderfully. I believed her. She allowed me to be a lead when there were better actors out there. I was made to think that I was someone with talent. So I tried from then on. I will always thank her for the confidence.

And then I entered high school. I discovered that it was only the same people who got cast. They all looked the same; petite, skinny, and gorgeous. Of course they would get the part. It was made for them. I was then lead to believe that I had no talent. I was swimming on dry land. I learned that people only want certain things.

Still I adored theatre. I decided that, since I would never be pretty enough to be an actress, that I should at least design. At least I could be a part of things that way. And so I took a summer arts class in which I learned the basics of makeup and applying it. It may have been the highlight of my summer.

But that was the summer that I realized that I would have to be proactive in changing my appearance. I did some things that I may not be exactly proud of, and certainly not enough so to mention, but they did happen. I cannot lie. It was seen as the only solution. I learned that mind over matter wields great truth.

Two years later and I would have designed once and been stripped of a crew head title as well. I had told her I would be gone that week. She said it would be perfectly okay. But then she changed her mind at the very end of it all. Some other girl wanted the points. But we all knew who was the first choice: me.

Then comes the piece de la resistance, you could call it. There was this girl who decided that I could show up to all of the rehearsals show week, stay until late at night, but then could not be there for the actual shows. She did apologize to me and I was only mad at myself. I confirmed that I really was not good enough.

So here I am, right now, at the point where tears have run dry and my thoughts are overtaken by daydreams. I have all these lovely times in which I am running away. off to a foreign land. And everything always works out in my favor there. I am allowed to love whomever I please. It is perfection.

Because now I am in love with a beautiful foreign girl. Her demeanor is lovely and when she smiles, she has the cutest dimples. I cannot help but smile and act like a fool whenever I am around her. Love is strange like that. But I am not allowed to love a woman. I have learned to not add another strike on my list.

I was never the daughter that my parents wanted. They tell me that this is not true, that they love me no matter what. But I know better than that. They will love me more if I am into science or math. My mom keeps on telling me to not stop math, because there is a way to creatively use it. What lies.

She just doesn’t think I can make it in the art world. Maybe I can’t. Oh, but what if I can? Don’t I owe it to myself to at least try? Oh, that’s right, she’s the one who fought for years to get me to become skinny and gorgeous. I understand the reasoning, but was it necessary? I am not enough for my own mother.

I have not become secluded because of one event. I have not shut myself out because of one person. It has been a series of thoughts. It has been a long time in the making. It has been a lot of decisions. I have not undertaken this change lightly, and neither have those around me. Poor them.

This is something that scares me, too. I used to be willing to face the world head-on, and now I don’t want to even think it exists. Who have I become? The product of a society, which teaches girls that they are worthless if they are not classically beautiful…
The product of biased marketing. That’s who I am.
Selma Bee Jun 2015
I know that they all like to say that nice guys finish last.
But this really is far from true.

Most nice guys really will end up finishing first.
It just may happen to them well after they want it to.

But it may be to your advantage, that way.
You’ll get to meet people at their best, some would say.

When you get to finish first, first, you will miss out on a lot.
The people whose prime is early in life are generally not the best.

I know that it is really hard to think that you’ll have to wait.
There is not a single person who enjoys waiting.

But it really is in your favor to wait for a little while.
You can meet yourself before meeting other people.

And you have to be crazy to think that there aren’t others who are lonely.
Sometimes the nice girls think they’re in last place, too.

Nice guys think that they have to change.
Nice guys, please do us all a favor, never change.

The world can use a lot of people like you.
We need some people we can be proud of.

See, you think you’re a problem because her parents would like you.
Give it a few years, and that will be what she wants.

I meet this nice guy once and really liked him.
But, as you’d like to guess, I didn’t date him.

I’m even certain that we were flirting for a little bit.
Yet, I did not wish to date him.

I suppose you can call me a hypocrite right now.
I would be lying if I said you’re completely wrong.

But never did I say that nice guys would always win.
All I recall saying is that they wouldn’t finish last.

Because, if I’m being frank here, they cannot be last.
Last is reserved for those whom you don’t desire in the slightest.

And I can attest to always wanting someone nice.
I can admit that I will always want someone who is kind.

And you’re wondering why I didn’t date what I wanted.
As luck would have it, I knew he was too good for me.

He may have actually gotten a different message on that.
I’d be fibbing if I said that I told him that.

He just thinks that I only want him as a friend.
He thinks that was all I ever thought of him as.

He is not entirely wrong, honestly, he’s not.
Dating friends is something that complicates things; so I won’t date them.

But he doesn’t know that I was willing to break that rule.
I would go against all I stand for, just for a nice guy.

Sure, I would then somehow ruin things, but it would be nice while it lasted.
But I could never think of hurting someone so dearly, not when he gave his all.

Nice guys don’t finish last because no one wants them.
Nice guys finish last because everyone wants them.

Nice guys win in the end because others have gathered up their courage.
When we can be real with them, then they can win.

Nice guys finish later because we like them so much.
We are scared to hurt them and it causes us to hurt them more.

We can never win when it comes to people.
No matter what you do, someone will get hurt.
Selma Bee Jun 2015
Please don’t fall in love with me.
I know you think that you want to
But I have met myself and I can assure
You that it really is not what you think
You’re getting yourself into,
Regardless of what you may believe.

Please don’t ignore me for days on no end.
I understand that I can be annoying
And have too much energy one day, and
None at all the next day,
That I speak the truth and that
Most of the time, I’m not all that kind.

Please don’t tell me that I’m smart.
I know that it doesn’t make sense to someone like you,
Who really is quite the genius;
But I have only ever been called that
And once you call me that, too,
I will forever be in fear of letting you down.

Please don’t call me pretty.
Flowers are pretty. And I would make a very ugly flower.
Were you to call me pretty,
Then I would think that
I stand a chance in this world
And we both know that’s not true.

Please don’t ask me about myself.
I know this is a stupid request
Since I ask you about yourself
And listen as you talk about yourself,
But I don’t want to tell you something
If you were never ready to listen.

Please don’t tell me I have nice handwriting.
I get it, you just want me to know there’s a
Legitimate reason that you’ve
Been staring at what I’ve been writing,
Yet, all I can think of is that you accidentally
Read some of it and are disgusted with it all.

Please don’t tell me that it will all work out.
Believe me, I have told myself that
Enough times to know that it
Simply isn’t true, and I’m betting that
You also have told it to yourself enough to know
That it really doesn’t work that way.

Please don’t make general statements.
I get it, if it’s simply a segway into something more
But it is rarely a segway into something more.
If it is not leading to something else,
Then I’d rather you say nothing at all
So I don’t ponder what exactly you meant.

Please don’t ask how my day went.
I know that you don’t care
How my day went and
Really just want an excuse
To tell me exactly how
Your day went.

Please don’t ask if I want to talk about it.
If I wanted to talk about it,
Then, trust me on this one,
I actually would talk about it;
Maybe not with you, as you’d like,
But I’d talk about it, with someone.

Please don’t make me think that we’re friends.
Whether it’s logical or not to you,
I actually take that quite seriously
And do not like it when
I get lied to about something like that,
Especially something as important as that.

Please don’t return the cold shoulder I give you.
I know that I should be able to take the
High road, since I’m asking that
From you, at least sometimes I do
Take the high road, and so since I’d do it for you
Can you get off your high horse and do it for me, too?

Please don’t cut me off in the middle of a sentence.
I know, I know, we all get really excited about what we have to say,
Sometimes forgetting that a conversation
Has to go two ways in order to work.
But I always think no one cares,
And that only proves it: that you don’t care.

Please don’t tell me how I’m feeling.
I know how I’m feeling
And I know that you cannot know
How it is that I feel
Because you are not I
And just because you say it doesn’t make it true.

Please don’t tell me what I’m thinking.
Yes, I get it, you really mean well,
You’re simply just trying to help.
But I didn’t need someone to help me think
I have been left alone to my own devices
For far too long to even need something like that.

Please don’t point out when I need help.
If you really think I need help
Then please, feel free to actually help me,
Because just standing there,
Telling me that I could use some help
Doesn’t actually help me out one bit.

Please don’t tell me what I cannot do.
I have faced enough issues
Of not being able to do things
Based on things that were
Completely out of my control.
No need to make me think of those.

Please don’t tell me that it could be worse.
I’m fully aware that it could be worse
And do not need someone I
Barely know and have
Rarely ever talked to, to
Re-state common knowledge.

Please don’t tell me a lie to comfort me.
I don’t want to hear your wonderful lie.
I know that we’re all quite good at lies,
Especially when they’re to comfort.
But I will never be a fan of a lie,
No matter how noble it’s intent.

Please don’t tell me that you love me.
I know, everyone would ****
To be told that, and here I am,
Refusing that which you want.
But I will say I love you too
And you won’t get how much that took.

Please don’t tell me that you care.
I think that you don’t realize
That I may actually expect you
To become concerned about the
Simplest of things and the boring ones,
Not just the drastic ones that impact you, too.

Please don’t tell me that you want to help.
I appreciate the thought,
However selfish it may actually be.
But I would never want to
Inconvenience you by asking for
Something as useful as your help.

Please don’t guilt trip me into anything.
I understand that this is sometimes
All that others have left you as an option,
But you can simply ask me,
Or better yet, straight up tell me.
I’ll be more willing to help you, then.

Please don’t tell me you’re sorry.
I quite honestly don’t care one bit
If you’re sorry or if you’re not,
See, I care what you’re going to do next,
Because it matters more where you go
Than where you came from.

Please don’t become my friend.
I know that I really could use one,
But you seem like such a nice guy
And I don’t want to do something silly
Like fall for you in the process
And ruin everything good we had going for us.

Please don’t ignore my advice.
You’re going to think
That I’m making it all up,
That I don’t have a clue
About that which I tell you.
But ignoring me hurts us both.
Selma Bee Jun 2015
It’s really a quite funny story,
Truth be told.

In middle school,
There were all sorts of dances,
Most of them actually
Fell directly after school.

I think it was more out of convenience for
All the teachers and faculty
Who were needed to come and make sure
Us middle school children didn’t wreak havoc.

Anyhow, I think I went to one
Of those after school dances.

But that never counted to me
As anything more than
A glorified after school activity
That I was doing with all my friends.

See, to me a dance meant
going out,
Buying a new dress and
A matching pair of shoes.

To me,
Anything that you could come
Exactly as you were
Did not count as a dance.

The next year, in eighth grade,
I decided that I wanted to do cotillion.

I’m certain that my one friend
Exclaimed how confused she was at this;
She could not stand the event
And did not understand why I’d willingly join.

But it was never about the details of it.

It was about the idea that I would get to dance
And that I would learn how to dance.

At five years old,
I decided to join ballet,
If for no other reason than
Because my best friend was, too.

I was not ready for ballet
Back then, at the young age of five,
But it may have been good,
It made me realize that I like to dance.

I would always like to dance
Even if I lacked all grace and coordination.

Because I may have had two left feet
And a great tendency to twist my ankles.
But luck would com my way when my dancing partner
Would also have two left feet.

That was really my first dance,
That time at cotillion,
When we were trying to tango,
And we both had two left feet.

I dressed up in a floor length dress,
Pink, with a sheer layer on top,
A solid one beneath,
And two thick straps on top.

So maybe we weren’t the best dancers
And maybe I’m not much better now.

But it was a lot of fun,
And I dressed up all fancy,
And I got to dance with someone,
And my first dance was what I’d wanted.

I had wanted something memorable,
And it was certainly memorable.
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