Hit me, mother fucker.
Shove me into the locker.
Knock my books out of my hands.
Throw things at me when the teacher isn’t looking.
Call me names like you always do.
Whisper them; yell them; repeat them,
Till you feel like you’ve gotten your point through
To the very core of me…but you’ll be wasting your breath.
Because I’ve been called these names every day for so long now that
They no longer carry the same meaning for me as they do for you.
Pussy, faggot, homo, queer…they all go in one ear, then in the other ear,
Then out through my brain stem,
Down my spinal cord to my central nervous system,
Numbing my nerves, dulling my heart
So that your words no longer have the impact that you want them to,
That you assume they do.
It’s fine; it’s normal to me now.
Because I’ve grown up in a house with
Parents who love me and have given me everything I ever needed
Except a patient, listening ear.
And I go to a church with a cool youth pastor and
A snack bar and arcade games,
Where I blend into the back of the room
With the rest of the expendable teenage dirt bags.
And all of my friends are my little brother’s friends,
Still in elementary school;
And playing with them makes me feel like
I’m more alone than I really am,
But it’s better than nothing, isn’t it?
And seeing my friend, whose body will not age any further
Than the 12 years, 3 months, and some-odd days he was
When the noose cut off his final breath;
Seeing his young body in his casket after He had hanged
Himself from his own bunk-bed…with a dog leash;
Seeing his mother beating her own chest as she weeps into his;
Hearing the cries of friends and family at the funeral and being
Unable to add my own sobs or even silent tears to the chorus of mourning;
Through all this, only one thought crosses my mind –
Isn’t he lucky that he doesn’t have to deal with this shit anymore?
Every day I go to my room
And wonder in my seventh-grade mind: will people notice me tomorrow,
Or will be another day of imposed invisibility?
Every day I go home to my room
Where I do whatever it is I do,
Things I will end up not even being able to remember;
Things involuntarily blocked out of memory
Along with the names of classmates, teachers,
And peers at church;
Field trips, church retreats, and girls I had
Crushes on who didn’t know I existed;
Where my mind is a blur of the past four
Years of loneliness and middle school torment;
Where my friends are my friends
Only when no one else is looking and
My repose from the emotional blitzkrieg
On my young, tender heart is non-existent;
So hit me, mother fucker.
See if I care.
You’ll be doing me a favor.
Help me to feel something again.