I was told by my mother, “It’s important to listen to your elders,” which was quickly
followed by, “now, put on something nice.”
whatever “nice” was.
I slunk back to my bedroom
with the same droopy eyes
and plastered on a catalog page
over spiderman hanes.
I was told by classrooms that touching stoves would burn,
staring at the sun would blind,
and doing drugs would rot my brain.
However, they didn’t take notice that I’m one hell of a masochist.
I snuck to the janitor’s closet after that class with a sack of white rocks.
I was told by psychologists that talking to yourself is a bad sign
even after all the times we’ve caught each other in the act.
I was told by my grandmother’s funeral procession to open up my tears,
to pour out my emotion…
…I chose to smile and laugh because that’s what grandma and I did best.
I was told by a pastor that love belongs in monogamy
between a man and a woman and nothing more.
There can’t possibly be so much love in one person that it would split and spill into multiples
and any group of people agreeing on open terms such as these
have to be stained with poison.
I was told by all that these conventions should be taken seriously.
From each tongue I saw that certain honesty gleaming,
that hopeful intent beaming,
but the funny thing is, none of these lessons were learned from mistakes.
So screw conventions
Violently rape them in a rusted dumpster
thigh high in soggy food scraps,
knuckles crushed around their baby hairs,
tracing their ribs with a chewed up plastic spoon,
scraping at the scabs,
eyes plucked upwards,
pawing with a sloppy jaw,
slowly sinking in through the skin.
I was told
had to be beautiful.