I’m sorry, Alex

Photo by Alex Zavala

By Alex Zavala

With worry written on my wrists, 

I stood in suits and surrendered sentences

as clear to me as August sunshine but as clear to them as April mists

All at once, my brain was revealed as nothing more than a prison, 

I told them how I engraved pain where no one else could see, 

and I said everything I needed with pinpoint precision

I wrote about how my medicines ran up and down my chemical imbalance 

like a shitty circus in my head where I was the clown,

and no one else could find the words other than, “I’m sorry, Alex” 

I got called brave for simply telling my truth,

though, through and through, I walked off stage feeling like a fraud,

and like my platform had been misused

I fought to feel loved and for everything I thought I knew,

Somehow, my weakness was rewarded, but my weapon of words

ran myself off a cliff for what seems feeble—a cry for help heard only by a select few

Never once did I ask to become a charity case or someone for them to pity,

To call me a winner rang remarkably empty as what I really wanted 

was support, not a reminder of why my art lacked acuity

And, yeah, I championed a lot when I was young:

being left by those who thought I was too much,

having the right words

but still feeling as death-defying as a patch in a punctured lung

So, I guess I’ll leave you with where I started, a sentence I wrote in the dark,

“I’m sorry that I can’t be the man you imagined I’d become when you held me in your arms for the first time,” 

and, sometimes, it’s hard to believe my words would become my palace and my prison,

my fire without a spark.


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