Home Turf War Zone

‚Äč

 

I was in high school

before I could

grow my hair out

 

when I was young,

if it got too long,

my dad would bring

me out on the porch

 

he'd hold me there

with his presence,

a grip without hands

 

and buzzz it all off

 

I would look at the

fallen hair, like trimmed

leaves from a plant

 

and I wouldn't cry,

wouldn't dare

 

//

 

my friends once

painted my nails

 

I kept the polish on

an entire two days

before I was caught

 

Why are your nails painted?

like I was wearing an insult

 

My friends wanted to

 

my answer did

not satisfy

 

it appeared most

confusing that I was

okay with it, that I

had allowed it

 

I rubbed the polish

off like bathing

with steel wool

 

//

 

I came home one

night from a band

competition, I was

in the color guard

 

What have you

got on your face?

 

I'd say, Makeup

 

Why? was makeup

really that abnormal

 

I had a competition

 

Is it required?

 

again, meaning to

say, you didn't

want this, right

 

No, but why wouldn't

I want to match?

 

//

 

when I played

soccer in middle

school, the boys

would make jokes

 

about what they

would do to a

pretty girl

 

who they thought

of as pretty

 

in those moments,

I was glad to be

left unmentioned

 

//

 

I still see it

when in public

 

I see a pretty girl

 

she sees me and

tenses up

 

she reads, I'm scared

 

I wish I could tell

her, Don't you see?

 

I'm scared just like you

 

//

 

being mistaken as

a man feels like

friendly-fire

 

being likened to

men feels like

a betrayal

 

//

 

I used to desire

death for not

wanting to live

 

dishonestly of

self is a volatile,

horrendous pain

 

now, I only want

to kill the person

people think I am

 

//

 

I wish I could just go

somewhere else

 

to some land and

language that

would love me

 

a home turf war

zone is worse when

you're the enemy