Silence

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When my seventh grade self,

Riled up over the excitement of having a girlfriend,

Came out to my mom I said,

“Hey mom. I’m gay.”

Silence.

She said: You are a disappointment.

I said: No mom. I am not a disappointment.

I come home and clean the dishes mom.

I am a straight A student remember.

I’m the one that doesn't happen to forget your birthday

Even if it is on New Years mom.

She says: You’re a disgrace.

I say: No mom. I’ve got the grace of a god by now

As many times as words have crucified me.

Their thumbs pushing throned phrases into my skull.

The blood of unrepairable self-esteem taints my vision.

It’s been years and I’m stilling rising my eyes out.

She said: I will never accept you. 

I said: But mom, how can you never accept me

When I accept the pain of his words when he tells you to shut up

And you didn't even have to ask me.

Silence .

 

When my seventh grade self,

Riled up over the excitement of having a “safe space,”

Came out to my friends I said, 

“Hey, I’m bisexual.”

Silence.

The little voice inside my said: You’re a damn lie.

I said: I know. But maybe they’ll accept me this way.

Maybe I won’t be a disappointment.

Misery loves company and similarity is the closest thing I’ve felt to friendship.

Looking back it’s funny.

My friends said: 

So which one of us are you attracted to?

I say: I could never be attracted to an ignorance that is beneath me.

I could never be attracted to someone who isn't worthy of a lesser version of myself.

And they say nothing.

Silence.

 

When my teenage self,

Riled up over the excitement of finally having a label,

Came out to my friends in high school I said, 

“Hey, I’m queer.”

Silence.

Because half of them didn't even know what that meant.

I still remember it because it was the first time I ever cried in public.

They said: You’re an inspiration.

I said: Oh really. Is it my not giving a fuck that inspires you?

Is it the way that my body has learned to close its ears that inspires you?

If I am so inspiring

Then stop telling me to wear a dress motherfuckers.

They said: You are so brave.

I say: No.

Bravery is what all of my friends lacked as they shoved me against the wall.

Bravery is being neutral on a scale of straight to Ru Paul

And still pulling off your mask.

I am not a walking target by choice.

My mom just birthed a bullesye.

Silence.

I am not brave.

I write poems because I’ve been trained to hate the sound of silence.

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