A Friday Night

Friday night

Alone in my room

Home and away

From everything and everyone.

I get a text

Late at night

It’s from a good friend

I read it:

“Are you a drug dealer?”

I read another…

“Can you get me some weed?”


“Come vape in the locker banks”

“I’ll pay you 50 even 100”

“We’re meeting up to smoke a blunt”

“Why won’t you join us”

I thought you were cool

I thought you wouldn’t mind

I thought I knew who you were

But How did I get thrown into this situation?



Yeah that’s right… Kush.

Kush is my name.

It’s okay to laugh.

I don’t mind it anymore.

It’s just the occasional snicker

from the same white guy

in the back of the class

showing off his vape pen

in the middle of sixth period.

It’s just the common chuckle

from the same group of dudes

in the middle of the hallway

getting dragged to the dean’s office

from the brawl in the stairway.

It’s just the casual giggle

from the pretty girl

sitting right in front of me

flirting with the football player

who won’t treat her right.


I’ve always wondered what it must feel like

to have a normal name...

I look in the mirror and think:

“I could be a good Jason”

But could I?

Maybe a Martin

But it sounds too much like martian

How about Jackson?!

But I feel like my face doesn’t match that

My face doesn’t really match any of that

My face is my face

And there is only one word that defines that

Which is my name

But why does my name

Have to be poisoned by society

And associated with an artificial high

A high that doesn’t mean anything


Why can’t my name be a genuine high?

A high off of love

A high off of forgiveness

A high off of laughter

Why can’t my name be a high off of

A love for my mother who lays peacefully by her shrine,

A forgiveness for my father who sits on a throne overseeing his children,

A smirk for my brother who smiles for the dumbest reasons...


I stand on a stage.

Yearning to be judged.

I want you to look at me, not laugh at me

I want you to look at me.

I want you to judge me.

I want you to judge me for my talent and my potential

Not for the name tag my parents gave me whenever they beckon me.

Laugh at me if I slip

Laugh at me if I fall

Laugh at me if I say a funny joke

But don’t laugh at me

when I raise my hand

to figure out what the homework was.


My name did not create

the pit in my stomach

when someone calls for me

My name did not cause

the undesired attention I get

when I walk down the hallway

My name did not want

these simple four letters

to be anyone’s business but my own


An insecurity wraps around my body

While the judge towers over me

with an apple on her court

I slip deeper and deeper into my seat

As her gavel hits the clipboard

She calls Patricia then Paige

then Brody then Brady

then Michael then Marvin

then Arnold then Andrew then…


I’m presumed guilty

while the jury laughs

At everything and everyone.

I’m away from home

And still alone in my room

On a Friday night.


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