To understand, not to reply

I could write a letter to every person I've seen myself in

I don't know their names, but I can recognize their pain

Dear girl who laughs at her own jokes,

you deserve a moment of happiness

in the midst of all the yelling back at home

Dear boy who only wears flannels and jeans,

your insecurity is a sweater that you refuse to take off

every scar on your thighs represents a person who was just too mean.

Dear girl who gets nervous simply from asking to borrow a pen,

I know you've been taught to be tolerant of snide remarks from boys your whole life through

here's the truth: you don't live to please big smiling men

Dear boy whose voice cracked in the sixth grade talent show and never sang again,

if someone ever tells you to shut up

you sing as loud as you can

Dear boy who learned that appreciation came through ribbons and medals,

all you wanted was a proud smile or a pat on the back

all you got was papers telling you your worth and empty class names to fill up your schedules

Dear girl who talks to everyone just fine until the clock strikes midnight,

you want somebody to understand your thoughts, yet you can't put them into words

so you write it all in a poem.

I don't know the sound of their voices, but I can recognize their silence.

How many breaths do we waste a day in exchange for polite conversation?

How many awkward moments have we sat through as we force ourselves through small talk?

How many times have the same bland responses repeated from our mouths like a broken cassette player?

"What's up?"

Not much

"How's it going?"

It's okay

"How are you?"

I'm fine

"What's wrong?"

Don't worry about it

Remind me, how many times did you slap on a smile just so you could see it reflected on someone else's face?

People ask you how you are; you respond with how your day went.

People ask you how your day is; you reply with how your life has been.

"Fine, just fine. Thank you."

Listen to me,

I know you're tired.

Listen to me,

I know you're sad.

I know that the fetal position is natural for the human body.

I know that mirrors never lie, but sometimes you wish they would.

I know that happiness can fade as quickly as melted snow in the sun.

It's okay to melt sometimes, but you gotta remember

to recollect yourself in the sky

It's okay to break down, but you gotta remember

to build yourself back up.

Listen, you're still a work in progress.

Some projects are meant to be done over and over again.

It took 344 years to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa

It was not built to be crooked, but it is and that's okay

Sometimes it doesn't work out the way you want it to

Sometimes you just accept it

Sometimes things sink

Sometimes that's what makes it special

Listen, life will drag you down, 

but you gotta find something to lean on and bring yourself back up

It doesn't matter whether the glass is half empty or half full

The glass is there no matter how you look at it

But if you never learn to set it down

you'll never learn to walk away from it.

Listen, I feel pain too

Hear me out, we all have our own reasons for being sad

Take note, pain is not a competition

It doesn't matter what position you come from

we've all curled up into the same ball

in the same womb of life that gives birth 

to those are are born into this world knowing how to cry.

Listen, we are all human

Listen, what you feel is okay

Your emotions are real and yours and valid

Most importantly, listen

to yourself

You are a work in progress

You get better little by little

Not all at once

If you listened the first time,

you would know this by now



I apologise for my voice. I'm barely starting out this whole spoken word thing, and I haven't quite gotten to the point where it actually sounds good yet.

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