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I was all that was left (Poem)


(Photo by Xavier Sotomayor )

I was so superficial
I said things that I thought people wanted to hear
never understanding what the words that dripped out of my mouth meant
words like, loyalty, love, friendship

I was a walking caricature
militant and angry and mostly afraid
longing for something I couldn’t then comprehend
and when I held it in my hands
turned my head away because even then, I couldn’t look at it
he was too beautiful for me to hold onto

I was a pretty smile and a good time
quick with a joke or self-deprecation
but inside I was slowly dying
I was gay but prided myself on being a republican
begging to be fit in, to be accepted, to have someone breathe into me the breath of life and make me real

And then you showed up and saw right through the party I pretended to be.
To you, I wasn’t a roll in the sheets
a dishtowel to wipe the sweat away
there was something inside of this shell begging to be loved.

I battle hardened with storm like fury
used to the disappointments of life
and used to minimizing myself for the comfort of others
but you loved me past all that
when you were nice to me – my mask fell away

And I was all that was left and for you – that was good enough.

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