Superb and Atrocious and Precocious Approaches

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“He says he wants to marry you,” says the boy.

“Really? ‘Cuz that sounds like it came outta your ass.” Says I.

I do not know why I said it.

Normally I’d shrink.

Normally, I’d try to brush it off.

I do not know why I said it.

 

“You’re so rude! Stop being mean!” They exclaim.

“I am not being mean, I am getting this project done.” Says I.

I do not know why I bother.

If I’m honest, they don’t deserve my A anyway.

If I’m honest, I care more about my grade than I do about their help.

I do not know why I bother.

 

“Try not to say anything, just be polite.” I say to myself.

“Malcolm X wasn’t sexist.” Says the teacher.

Of its own volition, my hand is raised.

So much for being polite, I think as I attempt to think for myself.

So much for being polite, I think as I wonder what else they taught was wrong.

Of its own volition, my mouth corrects the instructor.

 

“You’re a good person.” Says my mom.

“You don’t know me at all.” Says I.

She is acquainted with some of my rudeness.           

She never lets me forget how bossy I can be.

She never lets me forget how disappointing I am.

She is acquainted with my filters, though they fail me sometimes.

 

“Try not to feel.” Says I.

“Try to conceal what you feel.” Says I.

For well I know I am capable of kindness.

I made my distracted mother a sandwich at age four.

I made my stressed mother a cup of tea last week.

For well I know, my kindness does not excuse my cruelty.

 

“Be a good person.” I say.

“Be a badder person.” I say.

My good side is often used against me.

My schoolmates taught me this.

My schoolmates taught me that which I shouldn’t have learned.

My good side corrupts, ignored; my bad side warns not to cross me.

 

“I can be both light and dark.” I say.

“I can use a good filter or no filter at all.” I say.

I was created through trials.

I suffered loneliness and torment and shouting.

I suffered heartbreak, but that proves I had one.

I was created through fire, AND I WILL RISE FROM THE ASHES.

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