The Toughest Battles

I walk in the room, and all fifty-something of the people are staring at me instantly. 


Well, not really. 


But the volcano starts to broil and bubble,

The engines in my head rev to life once again,

I feel the impending sense of trouble, 

Like there are five hundred gigabytes of storage in my brain and I have to fit just too much in an overloaded computer which has a circuit that’s about to pop. 

I start to swallow a black hole, 

My tongue launches fireworks like it’s the Fourth of July,

There’s an empty column of hot air in my throat and all of a sudden—



I walk in the room, and all sixty people are staring at me instantly. 

Their eyes are snickering, 

I’m on a reality show and it’s midday TV,

my skin envelopes and folds in and all of a sudden I feel like it’s not going to end—

another and another, till the fuel is the fire and I’m the wood—

bullets flying at me from all directions,

I’m ducking and jerking, head split from side to side,

like it’s the newest COD for my Xbox, although it’s OCD 

the uncontrollable urge to spit fire and breathe foul words at the clueless individuals 

who don’t know what the hell is wrong with you. 


You know what makes me tick? When I tic. 

It’s the burden of carrying a thousand bricks,

tetrabenazine, prozac, and god knows what is in my system—

I don’t have blood in my veins, it’s that powdery white stuff that they make

That tastes like the hospital and the doctor’s room and the stakes—

the stakes getting higher and higher,

Oh you’re going to high school now? Let’s add a test 

Not the bubbly kind which makes you make a mess

All over your paper until it’s Christmas again and Santa Claus has come to visit

But he’s not bringing gifts, for you he’s got a curse—

The worst, your bubble has burst, the lead has popped, the pencil has melted, and you don’t want to do it all over again. 

You don’t want to be the kid with Tourette’s, 

Just because my mind has a bigger and longer net

catching the signals from my brain and

fuck fuck fuck I can’t stop what if I die? What if the world ends?

What if I’ll never be happy again? 

What if I’m not a cardboard cutout of a Seventeen hunk,

Can I still be loved? Would people accept me? 

These questions run through my mind like Usain Bolt at the fastest lap track

I’m gonna have a heart attack

The volcano is going to erupt again—

but this time, it’ll be a bigger mess

it’s so big your screaming at the top of your lungs,

What lungs? Cause the top of your lungs is filled with the foul things you breathe, 

but you don’t mean it, you don’t mean to seethe

And be scorned at while the kid with CP has sympathy. 


What I failed to realize in all of this was that it’s ok. 


It’s okay to not be ashamed, 

And you will be able to breathe again,

The oxygen in the air and the birds and the butterflies and the city lights

You can go to the horizon and dream until you’re lost and out of sight

People will judge, but judge not lest you be judged

I’ve been caught up in the heat and the sludge,

But know that God made you this way, 

Not out of hate, but in the kindness of his heart, 

That he gives his strongest soldiers the toughest battles,

And the veterans come out of the war of life without a loss, or a victory, 

But with the feeling that it was completely and utterly worth it. 


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