Charlie Sheen smokes crack live in a web-chat and they make him the highest paid actor on television.
An 18-year-old black person smokes a blunt and he is unfit to live.
I see you white power."
If you called me pretty I would’ve brushed my hair
longer so I could listen to you say it again.
I would have taken a few extra minutes
to make sure my eyeliner looked spectacular—
ripped the air right out of you til your bones
were bruised and I’d know I succeeded
when you looked at me, hand on your chest,
open-mouthed, frozen. Just like that. Imagine that.
It was this sick habit of needing you to tell me
I was pretty in order to consider myself worthy
of the word.
If you told me I was brave, all of a sudden
I wasn’t afraid to skydive. My bones tickled
to the thought of falling, to the ground thousands
of feet below me, a parachute my only hope
of not shattering.
Even, if you told me you liked the sound
chandeliers made when they burst against floor,
loved that even in smithereens they still
looked beautiful—like glitter scattered
across your dining room floor—
I might not have opened my parachute.
I might have let myself explode against cold,
lifeless pavement, in hopes you would walk by
and say, ‘My God, isn’t she stunning?
Have you ever witnessed anything brighter?’
Let’s skip the parts where you tried to tame
me, tried to change me, tried to make me your
definition of better, tried to throw out
the pieces of me that painted you angry-red
like you had stood out in the sun all afternoon.
Tell me I’m pretty. Brave. One of a kind.
Too quiet. Fragile. Defensive. Say my name
like you’re positive that’s who I am, but know
I’m the light I followed to where I am today.
Tell me I ‘feel too much’, tell me
anything, but I can no longer hear your voice
underneath the roaring of my flames.
It took me too long to realize I was the sun
and I didn’t need you to tell me I was burning
bright, to see you were sunburnt all over.