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Home Turf War Zone


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



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

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