Cardboard Boxes

Think back….

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.


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