The People We Are Now

To the girl in my fifth period health class whose boyfriend told her she is not allowed to have guy friends.


I apologize to you for writing this poem...but Honey.


I wish I could peel this shell of ignorance from the surface of your skin as easily as you peel off your face masks, part of your nighttime skincare routine. No money can possibly pay for the cleanse your face needs of every white and black head that penetrates your pores with negativity; no I’m not talking about pimples. I wish I could peel this shell of ignorance from your mind as easily as you peel off your $60 fake nails you have glued onto the edges of your fingers. Perhaps you enjoy the bright colors, or maybe those almond-shaped pieces of plastic protect your fingertips from the possibility that simple pedestrians won’t treat you like the princess your parents raised you to be.


Yes, I mention your nails, not to spite you for your appearance, but as if wealth isn’t already dripping from the jet black mascara and orange-tinted foundation that smears across your face when you don’t get your way. Or even how your t-shirt probably costs more than my entire outfit.


Your parents may have tattooed in your brain that everything you ever need will come from mommy’s PTA bake sales & daddy’s wallet.


But my parents taught me that money cannot buy your intelligence.


Your parents probably paid for prep classes, tutors and everything in between.

Truth being your mommy slept her way through high school, and your daddy paid kids’ to do his homework.

But not much has changed, your daddy pays a different woman to get off, and your mommy’s off calling someone else “daddy”.


I sit at my desk and can’t help by hear you complain  -yet again- to your posse of fellow princesses about how your boyfriend is toxic, temperamental, selfish, stubborn, clingy, and controlling. And the worst part is….


I don’t blame you.


It’s easy to lose yourself in a third grade crush that you never had the chance to grow out of.

But the ignorance protruding from the plush walls inside of your mouth, shatters my eardrums when you say “but I can’t imagine my life without him”.


If all of his negativity forces you to begin a cycle of settlement in constant arguments, as if you are stacking your fights like Jenga blocks; criss-crossing to form a tower that you hide behind to shield yourself from this daily war zone? How can you sit there and claim your life depends on him, when your mind’s survival depends on your ability to know what battles to fight and which ones to surrender?


What if your mind is as lost as you were in grade three learning to read poetry, or in grade six learning about your body?

How old do you need to be to learn that your happiness cannot solely depend on a man?


He probably makes you pay for his movie ticket, because he drove.


He’s probably the guy who doesn’t leave a tip for your waitress, but he physically didn’t see her make his food, so that means she doesn’t work hard right?


He’s probably the guy who doesn’t like any of your girl friends. In fact, he will openly accuse your best friend of cheating, or call that girl in your physics class “a fatass.” “But he’s just kidding” you say “he’s only trying to be funny,” you pray.


He’s probably the guy that demands all of your social media passwords, because he doesn’t trust you. But you’ll justify his reasonings nonetheless, because you have too little self-esteem to disagree with him.


He’s probably a guy who thinks your period is disgusting.

Yes blood coming out of someone’s body is disgusting but so is when a guy doesn’t shower and expects you to go down on him. My period is one small side effect of my ability to conceive life, something you can never have the experience or capability of doing. Guess what? Your mother has one, your sister has one, and yes, your girlfriend has one. If you cannot accept a natural phenomenon, you are not worthy of calling yourself a man.


But sweetie, you live in this social construct, bubblegum rainbow world where you confuse the idea of being “in love” with the fear of being “alone.”


Let me have the privilege of educating you, your highness.


Because love will always be a game of cards, knowing when to fold because your mind is a full house of kings and queens and jokers all jousting to be the ruler over your already blackened heart. Any chance of condemning yourself to death has been flushed.


Love will always be as confusing as algebra, trying to cancel out your X and wonder Y this system of equations has no solution, and you impulsively need to decide the order of operations you’re going to take.


Love is like going to the grocery store, you go in needing two simple ingredients, and come out with a recipe for disaster, but at least you’re trying something new.


And yet here you are, stuck in a washing-machine spin cycle of the textbook definition of an “unhealthy relationship”.


My question for you is, at what point did you lower your standards enough to let someone that toxic, into your life?


The problem here is that you’ve been rolled up in your burrito of blankets watching rom-coms and remembering all of the reasons you ripped out your heart, piece by piece in attempt to salvage his already mutilated one. Because relationships cannot grow in strength if you’re mind cannot grow along with it.


If you hear my plea

Take a second,

pop the Hershey bubble,

And let me show you

What the world has to offer.

What true men have to offer.

The person you were yesterday is going to thank

The people we are now.

This poem is about: 
My community


mary cassandra

This is amazing!

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