so here I am again, telling you all something you don’t really want to hear and don’t really care about
I’m spitting sparks at you to listen up, goddammit
because you’ve never listened before and you haven’t heard and haven’t seen and haven’t felt or smelled the fire inside of the words I’ve laughed and drawled and yelled
and I wonder how you can nod and agree and forget and sit there glassy-eyed
and do nothing
when all I know is this fire is going to burn me up like two candles
and there will still be a woman in a lace veil
wrapping her arms around the cinders
which spell nothing in particular
because they spell too much
and nobody will listen
A rainbow is what’s left after everything else is drowned, and it’s a promise that’s empty but nobody ever listens to how hollow it is
because they didn’t fill up their lungs with the drops and words that matter and they know that they won’t have to,
but they didn’t hear that they could breathe in a fire that scorches them right down to the cilia, put flint and tinder in their blood cells and leave them cinders too.
Sh’ma, people, because we’re not one and we never can be, should never want to be,
that olive branch passed you by long ago,
if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem
and I can’t let you write this off as
stupid. teenage. melodrama.
I might lodge where you lodge and go where you go but your people are not my people,
and you can’t make it that way
and all you have managed to teach us about hate is that it can’t kill love.
So I hope you’re listening, and I hope a few sparks sting you and singe your eyebrows,
because I am telling you that even when we burn up
and you laugh and shake your heads and stop listening
you’ll find us in the snowflake that refuses to melt on your tongue.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the April 2015 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.