To the Ones Before Me

I never thought 

I'd understand, fully

The pain that accompanies the memory

The stab in the back as my thoughts force me to recall

All of the things they've said to me

All of the promises I wish they would forget


Once, I begged to a god I do not believe in

Asking for the threats to dissipate

Asking for the memories to fade

But they didn't.

And they won't. 


Despite being perceived as male,

A term with which I do not identify,

There are people out there

Who have told me they'll hurt me

Told me they'd kill me

Told me they'd rape me

And I do not know why. 


But I can't tell you that.

Because you don't know that 

About me

And I forget


That I don't want you to.


I walk the trails of the earth

Smiling when I feel my worst

Showing kindness to those who have hurt me

And to those who I fear will

If I dare to say what's on my mind.


There are days where all I wish for 

Is a chance to open up 

A chance to tell someone what I've been through

But there is doubt

And there is guilt

Because I know that there are so many

So, so many

That have had it worse than me


I wonder how many times it took

To hear that it was my fault

For refusing to conform to the norms

That come with society's ideals on gender

I wonder how many times it took

For me to start believing them


All I know now

Is that it worked

I know I shouldn't 

But I do.

I believe them.


I understand. 

And I can't help but wish I didn't. 

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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