Jun 22
poem challenge: Writing 2022

believe

when i was seven
i still believed in fairy tales
i still wanted to wear a crown
be a princess
have someone look up to me & say
i am beautiful; i am smart
i am everything everyone wants to be:
perfect
but perfection isn't a real thing
it's a construct humanity created
we just set the bar higher for the next person
expecting them to pass the bar with ease
when in reality, their legs shake
as they give themselves a running shot.

when i was eight
i still believed in fairy tales
i still believed in true love
i had crushes on girls & pretended to like the popular boys 
just like everyone else
because that was normal then
& i would sit on the girls side of the table
(because 3rd grade boys are annoying as hell)
listening as they all talked about
the people sitting 1 foot away from them
& when they asked me
"who do you like?"
i'd stutter
brain freeze moment
say some random name of a boy in my class
they'd nod and move on
i was nothing to them.

when i was nine
i still believed in peace
i would run in random racing events
i would scream to loud music
i would hate arguing with my friends
& i would lie on my back
stare at the sky & allow myself to believe
that the world was at peace
that everything would be okay
that nothing was wrong with the world

when i was ten
i still believed i could chase my dreams
i played intense ice hockey & i was proud of that
i was proud of being stronger than all the girls &
9/10 of the boys in my grade
even if the girls would talk shit about me behind my back
at least they were smart enough
to not let me hear the things they said
i used my strength to my advantage
beginning my questioning of 
"am i a girl" & "what does it mean to be female?"

when i was eleven
i still believed i was a girl
i had long hair
i wore short skirts and t-shirts
i wore pink 
i was comfortable with myself
i started my period 37 minutes into my school day in october
& i just accepted it
my mom bought me a box of pads
i got used to the feeling
d
 r
  i
  p
away go the last strands of feeling female
as the boys shut me out; as the girls started to talk more & more
gossip about how many boyfriends i had
when in reality
my brain is starting to form the now all-too-familiar thoughts of
i don't deserve love

when i was twelve
i still believed people could shange
the world was shut down
i fell down the internet rabbit hole
someone packed TNT into the entrance & blew it up
so i could never climb out
because down here
it is dark
it is cold
it is lonely
but it is home to someone who never felt like they had one

now i'm thirteen.
sometimes i feel like i'm going insane
sometimes i feel like nothing i do will amount to anything
sometimes i feel like i will be sad forever
sometimes i lie to myself and i listen to those lies
because i have nothing left to believe and put my trust in
but i've fought all this way
to learn to love myself
to learn to take care of myself
to learn that i deserve better than what my mind tells me i deserve
three years ago 
i would have never said 
i deserve love
i deserve to be happy
now i say it with a smile that isn't made of plaster

and i can believe in fairy tales again