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May Oct 2020
I remember lying on my bed late at night
The images of that.. survey
tattooed behind my eyelids

I remember having to check off the boxes that apply
But how can you apply a label to the deep down feeling of being bullied
How can you label the sleepless nights and tempest-tossed days,
Of lying in bed wondering when the world will change

When you want to make a difference
But it’s hard
Because people won't listen

When innocence is dressed as protection
The lines get fuzzy
Because I can remember times when my age cost me my innocence
And my innocence cost me my age

"The resources that we provide
The time that has been generously set aside
You need to pick a side"
But there are too many unanswered questions about this list of what feels like right and wrong answers

But it's okay, because there’s an “all of the above" option

The messages students are sending out are being ignored
We talk to the janitor, instead of the head of the school board
When the teacher who said they'd to help you decides to retire
We are tired

This form is supposed to help us
But it has formed into an endless hole of anger and confusion
We are tired of being told that we are safe when our safety seems to be disguised as a Google questionnaire.

So I lay on my bed for a little while longer
And thought of this poem
To all the girls and the boys
And everyone in between
Who’s ever struggled with self-worth
And even self-esteem
We are in this together
We can work to be better
So we won’t have to lay in bed,
wondering when the questions won’t make us question our inherent value

Because we are worth something
Something more than what we know
More than hair, makeup, piercings and clothes
This is some progress, a movement, a fight that can grow
And hopefully one day... our identities can show
And all of this can start by hanging up a rainbow :)
I performed this slam poem at a Day Of Silence event held by my school. The week before, I had been asked to complete a survey, that would "anonymously inform faculty about LGBTQ discrimination in the school system"
May Oct 2020
The cards... are stacked... against me.

I’m a young woman
who stands at just 4’8
I’ve been told not to self-deprecate
and that I should appreciate what I have
But it’s kinda hard to obfuscate that the cards are stacked against me

I was adopted from China when I was two,
I could barely name my colors, red, yellow and blue
but all too soon I knew
that the cards were stacked against me

So I pursue an education,
Looking for an overdue explanation,
Some form of information
as to who stacked all these cards against me?

And I find that the system,
That prides its rhyme and rhythm,
Well they hide a list of victims
and so they decided they’ll stack the cards against me

Being bi,
and being not-so-shy,
and seeing colors in vibrance, from the grass to the sky
I'm not so good at lying
but it won't make a difference,
it's enough of a hindrance,
that the cards are stacked against me

So I'll be careful to lock my car,
And not walk too far,
I'll sit pretty and eat saffron and caviar,
But I won't forget that I can’t even wish on a shooting star
To shift the tables
and abandoned the labels
because not even in Aesop's fables
is there a time when the cards aren’t stacked against me

My life like a delicate card house resting on a cable
I'm a little unstable
But now the cards are spread out on the table
I turn one over, and it’s an ace of spades
And it feels like all the barricades
That had locked me in this cage
For ages
slowly start to evaporate.
And I wonder if maybe I had exaggerated
And this mindset my mind had created
Had been stated the wrong way,
And I had hated myself for unrelated reasons
and weight could finally be lifted off my shoulders

These shoulders that had carried the world
All of its boulders and sticks and secret hidden pearls,
And it feels like maybe just being a girl
doesn’t mean I can’t value my own safety
And drive a Mercedes
and be a nice lady
until I'm old and achy
and even then ill will remember

That just because it feels like the cards are against you
Doesn’t mean you’re worries aren’t real or your feelings aren't valid
It’s not easy, this world that we live in
But given, that the cards are dealt randomly
A bad hand does not land you so deeply in the sand
That you shouldn't get up each day
and try to understand,
That the card dealers are people too

They have families and homes
and muscles and bones
They bleed the same blood
And need the same love
That all humans work for

And maybe they were born with a stack piled high
Or two’s and four's and jacks and nines
And maybe they felt like if they turned a blind eye
And became a card dealer,
they wouldn't have to deal with the fact that their pile is against them too

So the next time you feel like your life isn't good enough
Don't let your mind or the dealers lie or call you bluff,
Spread the cards on the table
and one by one you'll be able,
To turn them over and be a little more stable
Because the cards are stacked against all of us
until we remove the number and suit labels
The world isn't set up for me to have an easy life. But that just means the world is kind of messed up- it's not my fault at all.
anonturtles Jun 2019
It’s an average day with average weather
driving down an average road in mid-september.
The radio is on,
the volume is up,
your favorite song plays,
your car is your club
and just as the melody comes to an end
it fades into another blends
present with past.

You hear the opening notes
your breath gets stuck in your throat
there’s a sickness deep in your gut
and tug on your heart but
you tell yourself your illogical.
You tell yourself it’s just biological,
trying to listen with your ears and not your heart
but the notes are torture, tearing your scars apart.
You’re bearing them whip for lash
because what’s killing you is the past
until you find yourself
reaching out
to switch stations.

I think you might understand when I say
there are some songs you just can't listen to.

Two years ago you heard that song for the first time
and it became your anthem.
The beat and you aligned in rhyme and time
and you even sang it too,
although, a little out of tune,
but you were so happy then
singing it with him.

The song was a soundtrack to your everyday life
played it twice in the morning,
thrice in the car,
throughout your day at work,
and after at the bar.
So the song is infused with all those feelings,
marinated in your memories,
baked till golden,
and now too good to eat.

Old playlists are perfect snapshots of what your life used to be,
hollow pictures of feelings rather than images
of who you were rather than what you saw.
The ⅜ time marking the pace of your heart
the major modulation, how you felt at the start
because some songs are made entirely out of memories.
The type that are scratched and recorded over
that you wish ill to the composer.
The type you wrote with people who are gone.
that you can’t bear to re-live, even through just a song.
The type you tried to erase
and the song is an ugly reminder you can’t face
because it's proof that you can’t erase a memory,
you can only hide it from view.

Worst of all songs don't change,
ten years out of use but
note for note,
beat for beat,
it will be exactly the same
You, on the other hand, are completely revised.
Not one hair on your head, skin cell on your body, can be recognized.
We do everything in our power
to love the present more than the past
still you’re jealous of the song
that lives on in your own history
without you.

See you didn’t want to change
but you did.
And the song is proof.

You’re staring into the hole
a happy memory left behind.
Longing for something
that doesn’t exist anymore.
So you don’t play the song
-- can’t play the song.
You hide it
wherever you’re hiding
the rest of the memories.
Gabby Jan 2019
Home is where you are supposed to feel whole.
Home is supposed to be your anchor to keep you grounded.
It's supposed to be a safe haven, somewhere when everything else feels wrong in the world, you can go home to shield yourself from all the hurt that is being thrown at you.
Home, people say, is their happy place.
Where their heart feels content.
They say "Home is where the heart is".
If that's true then my house is not a home.
My heart is not content at my so-called "home".
I do not feel at home in my house.
When I am home, I am longing to be somewhere else.
I feel homesick.
But homesick is longing for home after being away.
But I am home. I feel empty.
My heart aches to be somewhere else so much, it causes physical pain in my chest.
But why do I feel this way?
I am surrounded by members of my family.
So why don't I feel at home?
Maybe I left my heart in a house before,
Or maybe it's in a place I have yet to be.
Do you know what to do when your house is not a home?
Or when you don't know what your heart longs for?
Because I don't
Aaron Feb 2019
One part: gregarious graphite
Little black circles filled in carefully
like whimsical Will O’ Wisps
guiding the wonder-eyed wanderer,
Too late to see the blue’s turned black
‘Till toxicity taints our thoughts.

One part: creative deconstruction
of characteristically crucial creativity;
High school halls, sanitized and clean
devoid of imperfections we’ve come to fear
but absent also a sense of security, and
Absent also a sense of self.

Classroom currency was curiosity
And once was wonder here; now
Shy silhouettes sit in silent seats
a societal symptom of anorexic anxiety
the toll to thrive under the threat of Damocles:
That fear of failure, of cultural condemnation

Sacrilegious, the shattered system
But built upon a lie
A method meant for the masses
Yet you left us all behind.
Maria Duynisveld Jan 2019
I hear a lot of talk these days,
about how we need to teach girls
to follow their dreams.
We need to tell them
that they can study STEM,
or write a book,
or run the United States of America.
That sheerly from the force of their will
they can rise above being “merely a girl,”
and once all the cabinets are filled,
the next gen of chicks will give it a whirl -

Well, I say no.
We need to teach girls to never fall in love.

We need to warn girls about reckless boys,
the ones with pretty hair and gemstone eyes,
because those are the boys who are best at lies and
when they build you up
they tripwire every level
so that they can destroy the place
on the way out.

We need to tell girls that they can go far,
but not if they’re seduced by some **** with a car.
Girls need to learn that when boys say, “forever,”
it means “I want you right now, but that will fade to never.”
And if we fed every girl the facts
like he’ll feed her his lines,
maybe she’ll listen to the world
and believe her paranoia this time -

No, girls should never, ever fall in love.

Girls should never fall in love
because he’ll tell her that she’s a cut above,
he’ll spin tales of a future and where they’ll be,
but when she
is dependent,
that *******,
he won’t even have the *****
to call it like it is -
He’ll say something like “a break”
and let the “up” be hers, not his,
and he’ll say, “don’t make me feel guilty,”
and she’ll realize
this was how it was all along,
his comfort over hers.

We must teach these girls to never fall in love.

Don’t you see that when reckless boys
with pretty hair and gemstone eyes
write a girl a poem and hold her while she cries
she’s going to begin to believe that he cares,
so when she so much as dares
to say she loves him too,
he won’t have to chase and he’ll look for someone new -

No, we must make girls be like the reckless boys
with pretty hair and gemstone eyes,
because boys like those
never really fall in love.
Yamuna Turco Jan 2019
I am mad
Not just mad, I am furious

People all around me lie
And cheat and steal
But worse they judge
And assume, and stereotype
So I am mad

It is the privileged
It is the privileged who judge the most
In their white castles perched on a cliffside
Their ignorance and lackluster
But they say ignorance is bliss
So I am mad

“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
That's what our constitution says
Yet how can these be ours when those who are unaccepted
Those who are thrown out and tossed aside
Are forced to change for those who dominate them
So I am mad

If only
If only every Black, Asian, Native American,
gay, bi, woman, and person could see
That you are who you are
And not who you are told to be
So how am I to accept myself
If a cab driver I once had rolled his eyes at me and made me squirm in my seat
For wearing a pink wig and all black
So I am mad

I am mad
Because I can not be who I am
Because my curly hair is “too frizzy”
Because I respect the rights of others
I am mad

I am mad that I still have to be mad
I am mad
Because there were so many before me,
Yet I still have to be mad
Mad that the blissful ignorance is far too ignorant
Mad that a quiff-haired, white, christian boy tells me that having a pedophilic and sexist man as a president is better for the well-being of all than a woman ever could be
So I am still mad

I will stay mad
Mad at the ignorant
At the arrogant
At the system for changing once proud groups of people
I am mad
And I will forever be mad
Until I can look a KKK member in the eye without feeling like my life is at risk of ending
KW Dec 2018
When caterpillars are born
They just, they all look the same
Just like how babies are born
Coming out of their mothers
Womb, they cry, scream,
They feel helpless.

But we were taught at a
Young age that we need
To be independent, but how
Can we be independent if
We don’t feel like we are
In our own body
Just like how caterpillars are
Colored to to resemble their
Surroundings. We hide behind
A mask, we pretend that
Everything is okay
But there are teens out there
Reaching for that blade or
Another bottle just one more
Time

But that one time
May be their last breath

Caterpillars make
Cocoons just like
How teens hide in
Their rooms,
They say I’m fine
But if you look into
Their eyes you
See darkness, there’s
No life left in them

It’s hard, we say we
Don’t need help but we’re
Screaming for it


We hide in our cocoons and
We comfort ourselves but it’s
The wrong kind of comfort
We rely on that bottle or
That blade rather than someones
Ear or their shoulder

We hide who we are
We want to fit in so
We pretend to be beautiful
We pretend to be happy
We put up that wall, just like caterpillars

We don’t see our true
Colors
We don’t see how
Beautiful we are

The darkness is scary

But we...we give up
Until we see that light,
That light saves us
It cracks open a new
Beginning

We put down that blade and
We put down that bottle
And we pick up
Our journals, and our pencils

Caterpillars come out on the
Other side, they bloom
We bloom, we open up our
Wings and take off
We become butterflies
i hope whoever reads this will understand the beautiful message that goes into my poem. this means so much to me that i would love to share with anyone who is struggling. there is always light that will help us when we are down, just remember keep going
frankie Aug 2018
i didn’t tell you i loved you that day
the day we sat around and did nothin
the day we watched my dog and i stared at you for about an hour, in awe of your being
the day i sat and watched you become distance from me
the day i had to ask you to kiss me
the day of prom where i felt like an alien in your arms, the same day i began to realise that we would no longer be “we” for much longer
the day you broke my heart and treaded all over it
the days i sat and cried over you but still kept on talking to you like nothing was wrong and that i was totally okay with you breaking my heart, yes of course we can still be friends
the day i saw you after all this was said and done and we went out to eat for my birthday and i was still so in love with you and i think you knew it too, i didn’t hide it very well
the day after all of this had passed, months later, and i saw you and you kissed me agin and told me you missed me but to not get my hopes up about anything escalating, you’re  still not ready for a relationship
i didn’t tell you i loved you, because i knew you wouldn’t say it back
i told you i loved you, and you said you loved me too
i said you didn’t and you took that as a shot to the heart, an attack on you
you told me you loved me in a general “love”, you loved me in all aspects but also not all aspects
and then it all hit me again and i remembered why i didn’t tell you i loved you to begin with.
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