When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time.
I say, I am fat. He says, No, you are beautiful. I wonder why I cannot be both.
Some nights, I put on my father’s chalk outline and teach it how to walk. My face is a haunted house my mother screams at out of habit, not fear. Most days I am an alley that no one will enter alone.
You will find her bobby pins laying innocently on his bathroom sink. Her bobby pins. They look like the wiry legs of spiders, splinters of her undressing in his bed. Do not say anything. Think of stealing them, wearing them home in your hair.
It took my mother eight years to accept me for being gay, for eight years I sat and watched my house burn.
And like, maybe? I’m always speaking in questions? Because I’m so used to being cut off.
You call me angry, you men who get into bar fights over football. Men who beat your wives when she don’t fry the chicken right. You men who say I talk too loud, who say that my mouth has no business looking like a shotgun.
Once, I told you I was afraid of my father, and for a moment I was so human that the audience lost interest.
Which is to say that we are too old for all this shit. And by ‘this shit,’ I of course mean living.
If I will never pass, then I must be fiction. Must be a ghost, caught on camera.
I picture myself coming out and my parents heartbreak flooding all of India.
This home is your shrine now. Your portrait is painted in Jack Daniel’s stains in the linoleum. The smell of your hair is trapped in billows of fireplace smoke.
Meet the blogger:
BLYTHE BAIRD is an internationally known spoken word poet. Her viral work has been featured by The Huffington Post, Ashton Kutcher, Write Bloody, Button Poetry, Mic, Bustle, and more. In 2014, Baird was the youngest competitor at the National Poetry Slam. By 2016, Baird was recognized as a top finalist for the Global Young Achiever Award. Her first book GIVE ME A GOD I CAN RELATE TO is a pushcart prize nominee.