Condolences

 

Thoughtless things that you did and said hurt me,
starting from when you discovered
that I was no longer a child,

assumed what I would do with my legs,

and told me not to marry my love because it
interfered with your beliefs of separation of race.

 

What was most terrifying was the lack of anything to be felt because you had been dead to me for so long already, and all that you could really do after you said that line was to find how unforgiving I am, firsthand.

 

Maybe you thought I had done it intentionally, gotten myself pregnant to spite you, or my parents, or life in general,
but even still, you drove someone who would have been your strongest ally away. You judged me for being unmarried. You belittled everything from my mouth. It is because of you that I truly learned to hate myself for things
I couldn’t have controlled in the first place.

 

And then suddenly I was the bad guy
for running away and shutting you out,
and what choice did I have? You had done so much already, by allowing things to get worse. I told you about the abuse, and how much I needed someone constant, and you told me that you couldn’t, that you’d prefer your space. It was as if you and the whole family conveniently looked away.

 

I don’t blame you for what happened,
but you shouldn’t have blamed me.
I’m not sorry we weren’t closer
because that’s on you too.
And if you truly wanted in my life
you had every opportunity to make
amends, and instead you decided to hold out, because we are both stubborn.

 

Neither of us yielded, and neither of us won.

 

Domestic

You will never get the apology you want.

It’s not that he is incapable of crafting

such a thing.

He can utter a handful of heartfelt phrases;

you fall for them

because your words carry weight, and

you expect his to be true.

He will never be 

what you wish for him:

gentle, kind, understanding.

He is blinded by his own rage

and suffering.

Cast out the dreams of what could be,

and allow him to withdraw from 

your thoughts.

He no longer deserves a place

in your mind, nor in your heart.

These places are sacred,

and he is a wolf, slavering

at your pity, playing on 

compassion, pursuing you, 

only as his prey.

Just like them

I know that I do not fit in,
and often some well-meaning
person in society finds me,
and wants to show me off.

I don’t fit because I move to
my own rhythms, which change
time and signatures swiftly,
and I’d rather be alone.

You tell me I bring joy,
and that you miss me,
but what you miss is the way
I make you feel when I am around.

You bring me torment, and
when it became clear I brought
with me a storm to rival any
better tempest, a temper that
can only be tamed with love
and peaceful message,
you instead pushed me away.

I’m not upset. I am just not
surprised. I knew it all along.

Condolences

Thoughtless things that you did and said hurt me,
starting from when you discovered
that I was no longer a child, assumed what I would do with my legs, and told me not to marry my love because it
interfered with your beliefs of separation of race.

What was most terrifying was the lack of anything to be felt because you had been dead to me for so long already, and all that you could really do after you said that line was to find how unforgiving I am, firsthand.

Maybe you thought I had done it intentionally, gotten myself pregnant to spite you, or my parents, or life in general,
but even still, you drove someone who would have been your strongest ally away. You judged me for being unmarried. You belittled everything from my mouth. It is because of you that I truly learned to hate myself for things
I couldn’t have controlled in the first place.

And then suddenly I was the bad guy
for running away and shutting you out,
and what choice did I have? You had done so much already, by allowing things to get worse. I told you about the abuse, and how much I needed someone constant, and you told me that you couldn’t, that you’d prefer your space. It was as if you and the whole family conveniently looked away.

I don’t blame you for what happened,
but you shouldn’t have blamed me.
I’m not sorry we weren’t closer
because that’s on you too.
And if you truly wanted in my life
you had every opportunity to make
amends, and instead you decided to hold out, because we are both stubborn.

Neither of us yielded, and neither of us won.

Christmas at my In-laws

It is cold in this house, and they
turn on the air conditioner on at seventy degrees.
I’m uncomfortable
to begin with, this topic of a racist angle, it’s
as if the world and all the people within were splayed out
before them, reflected in a funny mirror as they sailed across the sky.

I keep getting asked why I’m not
talking, skulked off to
one corner, taking comfort in a
glass of wine someone told
me I would like.

‘Are you not having fun?’ and I have answered in my head, but doubt that
screaming at them would do
little more than make them stare.

I am not like them, loud and invasive questions about your health,
and weight, and diet. Ask about my major, one more time. Ask me what I plan to do! Ask me if I am sick to
death of you telling me I shouldn’t do it…

Hide behind my toothy smile, backed into a corner. It’s as if
they will not hear
the fury boiling under my restrained comments, nor will they acknowledge
the deep growl
rolling in the back of my throat.

Explication of a Poem Not Mine

You found my one weakness,
yes, it is true, between trees
and poets I never knew, but
let’s pause a moment, and
allow for some time,
digest ideas from the poem,
going down line by line.

Do I still love you? Can you really say?
The boy who cannot make
anyone stay? Why should I care
about lyrical spouts,
when one, such as you, can’t
assuage my doubts?

Liberating caged birds, well
that’s nice and all,
but it seems that they had no wings
to break the fall.

As for feelings, syntax
and vocabulary,
only one word really stood out,
Enuii, but fear not for you know
how I love to learn, and my love
for new words offset my spurn.

But the last few lines are as unclear
as a bog,
and when you polish your pieces, I suppose they aren’t wrong.

Still, it would be nice
if you understood
sacrificing message for rhyme
is never good.

I’d be open to more time with you
provided you weren’t closed,
but you won’t let me question
and it’s really gotten old.

Here I am safe with my words
and my bees,
now get out of my grove
and away from my trees.

When a Professor Tells Me to Make Some Friends

How many times have I been told
I am not “something” enough?
Not quiet enough to hold my tongue.
I have offended so many with
flagrant opinions.

My laugh is too loud, too long,
and annoying, one even told me
it kept us from being friends.
Why be a friend to someone
like that?

I cannot stop thinking enough
to relax, and I have killed
relationships by obsessing.

Some take pity, and when I
become too much, they admit
that they were my friend
because they felt sorry.

Others simply stop talking
and weeks will go by
before I realize that it was
nothing, a friendship of utility
not virtue.

I have long wondered
whether friendship was worth it.
Wishing for friends frivolously,
wandering in alcoves of loneliness,
and why shouldn’t I walk with
broken trust, and bitterness?

Despite this, I hope
and in optimism I’ve found merit.
Where true love is to accept
without expectation, criticism,
or condemnation,
and that understanding
is a lesser task.

Though our numbers are few
we are not one thing, posing
as another, and I have learned
that friendship far surpasses
changing for one person.