I come from a clock that is always wrong,
from 4-dollar lemonade stands,
from gray asphalt streets
and an ice cream truck on Tuesdays,
I come from a rotting wood swing
a green tarp canopy, a grass-stained t-shirt,
from peeling sunburns and rashes,
I come from a town where everything is perfect,
I wonder why we are not
from yelling in the kitchen
from “why’s Daddy never home?”
from “I like the neighbor’s house better”
from freshly mowed lawns, smells of bitter grass
tangled video game wires and quarrels of remotes
from a laundry basket always full.
I’m from a town of be better, be more
Yale doesn’t want an 84
I’m from a facade of smiles and “I’m okay”
a place where kids tear at each other’s throats
day after day,
but everyone stays quiet
I’m from “why are you such a nerd” from
“stop being a faggot”
I hear from the locker they shoved me in –
they stay quiet.
I’m from where you always stay quiet.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.