Invisible Borders | Teen Ink

Invisible Borders

April 17, 2021
By weirdo-poet BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
weirdo-poet BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
4 articles 4 photos 1 comment


Your hand over mine

Grasping the knife handle

Chopping rosy apples

Into ninety-degree angles


Chop chop chop chop

ChopchopchopchopchopchopCHOP


Drowning out the silence

We got the feast ready

Smiling and laughing

I kept your shaky hand steady


The snap of unleavened bread

With the sweet tang of wine

The bitter radish wrinkling my nose

We sang line after line


But every year the TV got louder

Your hands shook more

Bloodstains

And spilled butter slickening the floor


A blaring hum that crept into our lives

Red - like the blood on your sweat-soaked hand

Even when he’s gone

His lies still rule this land


Your eyes swirl with hypnotic lies

Maddening your brain

I tried tugging you back

But there was too much pain


I tried reason and logic

But my pleas turned to cries

Cursing and screaming

Tears in my eyes


Like screaming at a blank wall

Your brain blind to any opinion but your own

The lies you regurgitate

Make you feel like an evil clone


So I backed off, away like I would from a grizzly

Protecting myself with pillows and poetry

Hardening my beliefs, opposite to yours

One country split in two


I became — or rather, wanted to become again

The little girl in a pink dress with a frizzy half-ponytail

The apple knife too metallic for her delicate hands

Who smiled at you like her nightingale


So I concealed the part of myself

Who sees murder, trauma, every time we’ve divided the divisible

Who has established morals and standards

To you, I like to seem invisible 


I keep you near

But cling to the border - never letting you in

My head pounding with fear

Of what would happen if I peeled my skin


A constant hiding, I feel worthy, witty

But it’s never enough

A pit in my stomach, threatening to swallow me

You made me the opposite of tough


I lie to keep us apart

Protecting myself I tell the part of myself 

That aches to be close to you

To sit in your lap as you read 

the books on the warping shelf


My heart gallops to be more than neighboring countries

To swim across the dividing sea

To fight for you or fix you

I would try to set you free


But I can’t

Because if I did

There would be war

And heartache

Blissful memories 

Washed up on the shore


So I stay on my turf

The water licking my ankles

Leaning against the invisible border

Two lives always pulled and strangled


To my family

If you’re reading this

I’m sorry if this was uncomfortable to read

I’m sorry if it’ll create another barrier between us

I’m sorry if the truth hurts

But I’ve written a lot of empty poems

And it’s time to speak my truth

I need to address

The elephant in the room

Before the elephant swallows me

I love you

Forever

But I can’t be anyone

Except me


The author's comments:

A poem that I should've written and shared a while ago, but I was too afraid to.  Sometimes we have to do the things that scare us the most because it's the only way to grow.


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