“It’s okay, I’m tough” I’m stronger than they know
“It’s okay, I’m tough” I say,
And yet I’m so alone…
I stretch a slender smile wide across my o’erdrawn face
Parentheses and two small dots
To comfort and erase
The homesick pangs I’ve brought upon my curly long-haired head
The day I chose that I would join
The Lobo black and red.
“It’s okay, I’m tough” I lie to fam’ly, to friends,
As I ignore the shouts, the names—
Look forward to their ends
Words can’t hurt, they tell me, but I say it isn’t true
The words they shout bruise I say:
My heart is black and blue
But it’s okay, I tell them all, from half across the world,
It’s okay, don’t worry ‘bout
Your youngest baby girl.
I can handle cocky boys and homework overloads
I can handle getting lost
On foreign, unpaved roads
“I’m too strong to falter now!” I whisper through my gloom.
“It’s okay I’m tough” I say,
Crushed and broken, in my room.