Poetry: OHIO

by: Bobby Crowley 

Note: This poem has been modified from its original version. The original block text has been formatted to fit this screen, with the permission of the author.

My dust is a homemade Hansel and Gretel trail of splinters, shadows and starlight that I can pull together like a braid to find my way back. But I don’t want to go back. Because I left that place. Left behind their exorcisms and torch flames. Left behind their leather-bound parables they use to excuse their shame, to blame ME for what I turned out to be. But, That’s all behind me. And I won’t turn back. Because not even one last look at Eurydice’s beautiful face is worth the disgrace they embedded in me, for liking them her and it before I fell for a he. So WHAT if I got tits and I like girls who like tits too and who are YOU to say the man I like is not a “real man” compared to you? Who knew… that you’d be stuck there up to your neck in quicksand and I’d be flying in the air marv-ling at my wingspan? Well, I did.

That’s who. And NOW you tell me that I’m fabulous, but I already knew. And where were you… while I was hiding in the school bathroom pressing a blade to my wrist? Oh that’s right YOU were the one who told me no one would ever want to kiss these lips and YOU were the one who told me that you should hit me with your fist because I was just a fat cow dyke cunt bitch and I was just somebody that nobody would miss. But THIS is no Oedipus. And I’m no tragic hero stumbling towards the exit with frantic hands fumbling for it that sharpened stick to convict myself to blindness for eternity. No matter what I can or cannot or will never see, I don’t need your x-rays to prove what I know is inside of me and I don’t need your crystal balls or tarot cards or seeing dogs cause I know that whatever lies ahead of me I can

face like Ali cause I sting like an eel not a dying bee… one touch from me and electricity consuming your body so greedily. And I’m hungry. Hungry like pacman for the ghosts and skeletons that haunted me. Hungry hungry like those hippos for every moment that I can see… I’m nothing like you thought I’d be. I’m starving for eternity. I’m striving for infinity. I’m fighting for the everlasting. and I know that it’s inside of me. Know that I can make it to the other side of every battle without regret because I know that I have never forgotten and I will never forget, that I stopped it, no longer that addict hiding in the basement hiding in the shadows of my own face and forcing my mother to have to find a replacement for that gaping hole inside… no i survived. I beat my own death and I locked away my own breathe so I’ll

never lose it again… never lose to the pain… and now I can face every day without the acid-like shame that used to burn holes in me. Now I’m a symphony. Now I’m an epiphany. Now I’m awe-inspiring. And nothing can touch me. Because I’m firing as I’m flying with my open wings and I fan the flames devouring oceans and lands and scouring for someone like me with wings burnt and seared so I can set them free. Because finally, I know who I am and who I’m meant to be. And nothing and no one- and no, there’s no stopping me.

Bobby Crowley is a Queer woman with a love for all that is fabulous. She is currently working on her Creative Writing degree at Loyola University where she is also on the board of Advocate and a writer for the alt. magazine LUChameleon. She is in love with Andrea Gibson, her labradaniel puppies, and singing loudly in the shower.

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