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These Lives We Live

These lives we live are folded into paper airplanes.

We are marked from the day we are born in sharp blues and gentle pinks / branded with the hot rim of societies iron / On the subway a girl is yelled at by her father for being too loud and bossy while her brother is praised for taking his turn in the game the girl created / A teen girl in the suburbs is told that her breast lump is what happened because she had sex. Making her body a betrayal / A girl who wears crop tops and lipstick but knew she was a lesbian at age 5 is at a bar. Asked if she's a gold star because that’s indicative of the truth in her words / The transgender boy in the boy's bathroom is shoved against the stall door told maybe he needs to grow into his body given at birth even though the body he lives in is finally starting to feel like home / When the girl say she's poly she's met with why’s and cant’s and notions that it’s just about sex. Like she wears her identity on her sleeve for others to have opinions on / Maybe you haven’t met the right person / Maybe you haven’t met the right man / We are told to follow these rules without asking where they come from / Take quarters and spin them with only heads or tails to win / Throwing basketballs at bicycle tires / assume they'll eventually fit even though we all know it doesn’t make sense / it will only leave a broken bicycle tire / an inflated ball / unable to move / These lives we live are folded into paper airplanes not expected to go far / The thing about paper airplanes is that they are meant to look different / get torn and stained / meant to find their own spot to land / traveling from classroom desks to graveled streets, to hospital bags, lobbies, and basement apartments / Every one different, landing in their own space / spin / fall / fly / Their marks worn like trophies of where they’ve come from / take their marks and turn them into masterpieces / A line turned shipping label to travel the world / A grass stain turned drum that they can march to / A tear turned to a new wing that sets them free / All we have to do is unfold the edges, color over the marks we’ve been branded with and say no thank you to the life they say we should live

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These Lives We Live
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