Can you remember houses made of cardboard boxes
Out of which came your parents’ new furniture from ikea
Do you remember changing your names
Because being someone fictional was so much better than being who you really were.
When you were not Meg, the one who paints shitty pictures with Crayola watercolors,
but Liz, the girl who’s song is played on every radio station at least twice an hour.
When you were not Lori, the girl with straight A’s on her report card,
but Ellen, first female president of the United States,
When you were not Kyle, the best and only male dancer in your class,
but Jimmy, who never got made fun of at Recess.
And now the idea of living in cardboard boxes
Is anything but a game
And you still want to change your name
Because Meg who wanted to be Liz cuts pictures into the skin of her arms
because Kyle who wanted to be Jimmy does not love her
because Kyle loves Steven who cannot live him back
because if his boss ever found out he’d be fired
because his boss is the same homophobic jerk who fired Lori who wanted to be Ellen
because she missed work to go to her sister’s funeral
because it seems self-hatred runs in the family.
So she sits at home with the newspaper,
Not eating and not sleeping
And remembering the cardboard boxes on the lawn
And wondering how fantasy turned so quickly into reality.