Alone/ Backwards World/ Baltimore/ Catepillar/ Fire/ Insanity/ Mother/ Murderer/ Poor Ophelia/ Rain/ Through The Mist/ Yesterday
The world is a dark place when I'm alone,
Cut off from all ties,
My mother's confidence,
My father's pride.
Left a small dot amongst strangers.
I stand still and try to breathe
my own life in. Who am I?
Who cares about me?
A defenseless girl,
I put up a wall, protected an internal war,
Does it really matter if anyone hurts me,
I think, sardonically.
My walls are caving in,
What to do when I'm sad?
What to do when I'm hurt?
Where's my mother's arms,
My father's words?
All alone- save for the demons in my head-
They whisper of my suicide as they've always done,
But here I'm alone.
No one cares if I live or die.
A Jew in the South,
No one knows me at all.
Except for the voice I can never get away from,
The voice even my parents can't quell,
The voice of me.
Backwards world for a backwards mind
How did I ever get to this state?
Where I took my drawbacks like badges on a girl scout belt?
I prayed for a tumor when I began to seize
And cursed myself when the epilepsy went away
And at twelve years old, I took death into my own small hands
I tried with knives and hands and just plain will
But even then I failed
No external disease
Backwards world where health and life are bad,
Backwards world for the miserable and depressed,
For those of us who twisted our childhoods
And made them tortuous roads to climb in the future.
Baltimore, place of love, place of hatred,
I was born within your confines,
Spent a week encased, trying to catch up to humanity,
Then immediately moved- north-
Not far north- just the county-
But far enough to never get an accent,
Never feel inclined to say "wuter" or "hon",
Couldn't navigate your streets with a roadmap.
Baltimore, you cough up poisonous gas and pollute the world,
Baltimore, you provide a haven for history, for immigrants,
Baltimore, guns still point at you from atop D.C.'s hill,
The northern-southern city and state,
Complementing Maryland's rural towns with industry.
Baltimore, you with poverty and murder,
Baltimore, you with museums and libraries,
Baltimore run down, Baltimore built up,
Eclectic arrays of people walk your harbor,
Speaking in different tongues,
Oblivious to the black, impoverished residents of slums.
Baltimore, you I adore and fear,
Will your people point a gun at my face?
Will your people show me a world of beauty?
Do they know that I, suburbanite, accentless,
First opened my eyes to your buildings and lights,
Conceived and born
Baltimore, I spent a lifetime debating if I should leave,
Until I did go away- south-
New accents, new perceptions, no cities,
I bury myself in the things I brought from home,
And am lost.
Long ago, a catepillar crawled,
Not feeling weak and not feeling small,
With a playground of trees and a handful of friends,
Who'd want this life to end?
But the others looked toward the wonderful sky,
And dreamed of being a butterfly.
"We'll all get there soon, when we mature,
And we'll be friends forevermore."
And Catepillar, not being weak nor small,
Built her cocoon first of all.
"Goodbye!" said her friends, "we'll see you again,
When we're all butterflies in the end!"
The transformation was not smooth,
Her body twisted and turned into something crude,
But when she emerged, was a butterfly!
She no longer crawled but could fly.
Butterfly flew into the air,
Where the rest of her kind made their lair,
But her new home was filled with disdain.
Butterflies pointed- "look at her stains!"
Compared to their colors that shone,
Butterfly's wings looked like dull stones.
And the way that they flew with such ease,
Made her flying look like a tease.
The weeks went on, yet Butterfly, still shunned,
Waited and waited for her friends to come.
And as they did not, she thought to fly down,
To that place with her friends where she'd no longer frown.
But when she got there and saw all her friends,
With not wings, but tails for their ends,
And heard them talk her old catepillar dreams,
About a life only she knew was mean,
Butterfly felt distant, as though she'd flown off,
Where no one was happy, yet no one could scoff,
So Catepillar/Butterfly now had no home,
For she had not ignorance, nor wings that shone.
She was consumed by fire.
Different colors of blinding light,
Yellow for cowardice,
Green for the greed of the people,
Pink for the embarrassment,
That should have flushed her cheeks,
And orange, of course,
That built up from infancy,
Piercing light from the incubator,
Probing light from the X-ray MRI,
And of course, G-d's holy glow,
Telling her to push herself down.
But she did not realize it then,
The consequences, the end of an era,
That was painted years later by an angry teenager,
Just reawakening to the horror she'd left,
Her background was a churning mass,
Of rage and jealousy.
Vision blurred to near blindness,
From the happiness of others,
The happiness she gave up,
By the ignorance of a child.
Insanity- letting go of reality,
Floating free above all terrestrial worries,
No ability to think, reason, or suffer in the mortal world,
Thoughts flashing by- no insight, no pain,
Body freed from the tenseness of stress,
Existing at the whim of the subconscious mind,
But sanity, the fiend, pulls life back,
Painfully dragging the mind back to the world,
Can't sleep, can't rest, can't just be,
Must think, must reason, must endure pain,
A struggle between the need for freedom,
And the fiend's persistance that I not disappear.
Do you hate me, Mother
With your razor eyes
Sharp stares and piercing glares
Glance at my grades and glance at my hair.
Do you hate me, Mother
With that ripple in your voice
That you use with the world
When you claim to be scared
And sound like a queen?
Counting failures on your fingers
Then turning around
Claiming I'm too hard on myself.
Do you love me, Mother
Shielding me from the world
Seizing control of my life
Then turning around
Pushing me out
Taking your blanket off my eyes
And commanding me to walk on my own
With a crowd of teenagers
Pursuing my interests in clubs and youth groups
Are you disgusted, Mother
Your mother never supported you
Yet you succeeded
But I am not.
I am a murderer with an innocent's skin,
I laugh on the outside and keep anger tucked in,
To use on a victim one would not foresee,
Most elusive of captures; the victim was me.
My poison was guilt I drunk throughout the years,
To create a happy childhood with hidden tears.
Drunk in small doses, building up rage,
'Til I could no longer stand it and swelled in my cage.
I built it, you see, to muffle my cries,
To suffocate in hatred until I die.
And when I do die I'll prove to the world,
That I was never a happy, innocent little girl.
My temperament was hot, but masked with a smile,
I wanted to scream, yet remained docile.
But then I learned this was the ultimate crime,
To drive myself crazy, with emotions locked in time.
And when I'd break down as I did years ago,
My innocence would be dead and only I'd know.
As others try in vain to jumpstart my life,
I smile on the outside and push in my knife.
For what damage is done no one can see,
'Tis a secret of sadism between innocence and me.
Poor Ophelia of Golden Ages,
Who slept a thousand years,
She woke just now by kiss of demon,
And found the world in tears.
Who were these people by her side,
That drunk a poison of life?
Tainted and dirty by cracks of existence,
Once merry, now filled with strife?
They dabbled in the darkest waters,
Their innocence from them cast,
Drawing her into a world of damage,
While she saw ghosts of the past.
When the lot of them lay in happy compassion,
Not a thought was known of confusion,
All that existed was imagination, funny,
Who knew it was just an illusion?
Had Earth tricked her to enchanted sleep,
Thought she as blood stained her gown,
Her childhood preserved while all else grew up,
What choice had she but to drown?
Poor Ophelia of Golden Ages,
None understood your pain,
They chose to give up life's greatest pleasure,
And the results made you insane.
I've felt the rain on my head for five years,
Which quickly reduced me to tears.
Droplets that sting,
From my brain,
To the cold of the rain.
Walk quickly but never escape,
Walk slowly- like blankets it drapes,
Across my body, mem'ries and brain,
Such is the power of rain.
Colness, like darkness, spreads pain,
I know that I'll never be sane,
Never the same,
The past does not reign,
Usurped by my present- the rain.
The sun will never shine down,
To lift from my face ugly frown,
Which ratifies me,
Drowned is my brain,
In the power of the rain.
So I've walked through the rain for five years,
And let it expound on my fears,
That I'll never be sane,
Never the same,
Gone is that brain,
Thanks to- the rain.
Through The Mist
I see you through a mist,
A fog, really, that blurs my vision,
But you force me to strain my eyes,
Acknowledge that which I cannot see.
A time in my life is passing
A new one is to begin.
I must initiate. I must follow through.
I must decide.
Next year, it's all to be done,
Sealed in a thick, white envelope or more,
Now just a blurry vision through the mist,
Though open houses mark my future,
Maybe too late.
What about interviews and applications, you ask.
How far have my classmates gone?
And how similar should my path be to theirs?
With old friends off to Community,
And my new friends off to Yale.
And I, stand alone, on a different path,
As has always been my destiny.
So tell me, fiend, where does Loner go,
Who defies standard university and career?
How can I know my place,
Move your fog away, fiend,
Use time as your ally.
Passing from Junior to Senior,
But what of senior to college?
If I could go back to yesterday,
Curses undo and screams unsay,
I'd tell you of your worth inside,
Tell you by yourself to abide.
If I could touch your angel skin,
And re-let all your laughter in,
Look you in your light, blue eyes,
I tell you, I'd apologize.
For letting all their anger by
Your shaky defense- and watch you die.
And mostly for that which I've become,
Fat and sad and stuck and dumb.
If I could kill the demons who
Invaded your mind and then raped you,
Creating a monster you could not forsee,
New dark in the lightness turned into me.
If I could sacrifice me for you,
And all the damage of mine undo,
Reconstruct your glory and light,
I'd say "leave this darkness and take flight!"
If I could don your hair and wings,
And live through all the joy it brings,
A reverie of distant past,
I'd want it to forever last.
But I exist in time and place
Where I cannot you recreate.
Am unlike G-d, can't mold from clay,
The childhood that was yesterday.
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