By: Jules SherwoodAlternate reality where I am angry.
When the man tells me to smile,
I scream my answer back at him.
Like a fury, I will tear him to shreds with my voice.
The white, cis, het, boy says “relax” and I say, “excuse me?”
My co-worker tells me his salary,
And I email the whole company,
Telling all the women to ask for a raise.
The man tells me vaccines cause autism,
So I ignore his calls and send him passive-aggressive articles,
About how real the pandemic is
When people try to tell me “this is how things are,”
And “life isn’t fair.”
I grab the words from their lips and smash them against the ground.
I am not a coward,
I am a demon.
And when I fail to be the person I want to be,
I beat my head against the wall until I’m bloody,
When my friend tells me about the unthinkable,
I make a promise to ruin that man’s life.
When the politician says climate change isn’t real,
I send a parcel full of oil and dead fish to his office,
With the message “try to live off this.”
But I don’t destroy my ballot when I vote,
I hurl it into the ballot box,
And I make the cross next to my candidate’s name so bold it almost bleeds through,
But I don’t destroy my ballot,
And when you shout at me,
I shout back
All the un-uttered words and silent screams become loud in this other reality,
I do not hold it inside or knit myself together for the sake of someone else,
I let myself unravel and string myself tightly over the wood of my bow,
I let my arrows fly in this reality.
Full disclosure, it took me quite a while to get this poem to a point where I was happy with it, and even now, I’m still second guessing some of my choices. But this is what I’ve decided is finished (for now) so read on!
Poetry has always been a way for me to express my emotions, and this poem is no different. I wanted to experiment, and follow the form of Olivia Gatwood’s poem “Alternate Universe” (highly recommend listening to/reading that one as well) and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy!