I can measure my life in moments:
Before and after and when.
When I realized that my parents weren’t google and God combined,
And, no matter how hard I searched,
I’d never find an adult who could fix anything,
Who could put a cast around a broken promise,
Hammer a piece of would into a peace of mind,
And mend relationships using a needle threaded with heartstrings.
Instead, I found that they were just people,
Cast in unwanted roles,
I found that hammers beat things down,
And the only needle they’ve ever used
Is one with which to inject themselves with the regret of their own mistakes.
They say I’m not a mistake,
But I know I’m no “happy little accident”
They avoid looking at my nose because it’s too long,
My skin because it’s gray,
My legs because they’re twisted,
My hands because of an extra finger.
They avoid looking at me completely,
Removing their eye until I’m invisible.
I know I’m a mistake.
They say that my face looks like a battlefield
From which they retreat
Only to surrender to drugs and drink.
I know every liquid they consume
Is part of an ocean meant to drag me away,
But maybe, just maybe, I’ll be cast to an island where looks don’t matter,
Where people know that my nose was made to follow the scent
Of smoke to a fire burning down a wall of prejudice,
Breaking the barrier to a place where skin color doesn’t matter,
Where my twisted legs are a twist of fate, not who I am,
And every extra finger is another piece of me to lavish love upon.
Someday, I’ll sail to that island,
And I’ll find every boy or girl, abused, mistreated, neglected,
And I will bring them there,
And soon, abuse and mistreatment will be merely words,
Sitting in an unused dictionary,
Dusty because they neglect their chores in favor of fun.
Someday, I’ll sail to that island
And be safe from every whining “good girl” and every greedy prince
Who laugh, taunt, snub me daily.
Someday, I’ll find happiness.
Someday, I’ll find love.
This I swear,
Surely as my name is