We laughed at stars
And talked shit,
But all we really wanted to do was understand;
Understand the ache in our bones
And the sudden emptiness in our eyes,
Like we didn’t just start crying in the middle of class
Over being called fat,
Like our bones were Atlas and they could barely hold us up,
Like no one was there but everyone was there;
Like we didn’t try to make people understand,
Not because they couldn’t but because they didn’t want to.
We knew all too well what it was like for our minds to become battlefields
And for our thoughts to be caught in the crossfire,
We learned to stop saying prayers and just suffer because maybe this was punishment
Oh Lord, on high.
Maybe we did something wrong,
Maybe we were too busy not to notice
That quiet kid in class and never asked questions
As to why he committed suicide.
We were too busy laughing at stars
And now we are crying over scars
And trying not to fall
Because this is a balancing act,
Acrobats that haven’t been trained for this performance.
Lion tamers that are more afraid of lions
Than the lions are of them;
We forgot how to play by the rules
When the rules were against us,
We brought a knife to this gun fight,
And yes, some of us died last night.
But we are wayward soldiers
With no commanding officer,
We’ve fought for this long
And coughed up mustard gassed lungs,
But we tattooed “ever forward” on our feet,
So even when the road got hard,
We had no choice but to keep going.