Close your eyes
And think of a place.
Just one of all of the physical places
That take you to emotional places
Either putting a smile on all of our faces
Or turning us all into mental patients.
Feeling the scrapes and scratches
The bumps and bruises
The invisible scars imbedded into thick skulls giving us thick skin
These places our bodies have been,
Where our minds will never return.
For instance, a crowded movie theater.
Surrounded by souls
Disengaged bodies with minds wrapped around the silver screen
Ears blocked to everything but the surround sound
Surrounded by people who never heard a sound.
Not a muffle
Not a groan
Not a fast scream.
How about a locker room?
Steam licking metal lockers,
Sliding down rusty locks
This 6 foot by 6 foot box filled to the brim with hate
Insults raining down, sticking like flour on wet skin.
It’s behind these closed doors
There lies the key to every entry to the place we belong.
So we homeless souls wander the streets
Motherless children searching for another way.
No place to call our own
No closet to kneel down and pray to whatever god will hear us
So we shout out for help in a room full of people
We struggle to gasp out a cry or a screeching yell
And no one ever gave us a second glance.
Banging door to door, begging for someone to let us in.
To clean us up.
To mend our fractured hearts.
But no such door opened and we watched the party from the window
While we tied a splint around broken souls
Kept moving on blistered feet
Sometimes we crawled on scraped knees that no one kissed
And clawed at the ground with hands never held.
Us, children of the night
Bending over backwards for first place and always coming last.
And every time the moon greets us we make a list and check it twice
A list of all the gifts we never received
A list of all the reasons to go on.
Some of us couldn’t take it day by day
We went hour by hour and counted the minutes in red ink on sleeves
The countless door slammed in our faces.
And we made tallies of all of them.
But somewhere, somehow, the tide rolls out
The sun creeps behind the corner we were always told tomorrow was behind.
And we waited so long, we forgot we were at the end of the block.
When we finally face the chimera in our dreams
The monster in the closet
The fear in our eyes,
That’s when love came knocking
And gave us the keys to the kingdom we had been building all along.
We carved monuments of triumph with our feet scraping unfamiliar floors
We planted gardens over dreams that life starved dead
We filled beautiful fountains with the tears shed under the light of the moon
And it was all a work of art
The struggle of mankind
7 billion hearts looking with 14 billion eyes for someone to show them who they really are
And while we searched all our lives for that place where we belonged,
We were setting it in stone ourselves.