I can’t see myself pleading… Anymore

and even when I think of others

she expects a concession

looking for guilt

on my face

with her cold

metal detector eyes

reminding me

of how

I am surely wrong

there is a tipping point

on the teeter-totter

of a man’s timeline

when he realizes

he can’t give up his weight

because

there’s no benefit

to compromise

getting along

costs too much

and

Respect

is not enough

because they want to

change you

and if they can’t change

you

they put you

on the cold back porch

to make you wait

and you

realize

there was never

any love there

just a smile and a face

that wanted you

to smile too

I want to be let in

to people’s warm houses

but the price of admission

is just too great

Why can’t they walk out

onto the street?

“You dress all wrong; your clothes don’t fit; don’t you care?”

I guess I don’t

but I don’t say anything

Who I am

is a poor reflection of themselves

and they can’t adjust my collar

or comb my hair

so, they break their mirror

or stop looking into it

I used to be controlled by their approval

but now, I don’t care

and even when they squint at me

through disapproving eyes

I can’t force myself

I can’t force myself to do anything

anymore

my face

is my face

it doesn’t smile back

because no one is really smiling

I don’t even want to laugh

which makes their discomfort

worse

because none of it

was ever funny.

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