by softserve
When I was a child I often quietly
worried that everyone was an alien
and I was the only real person on earth.
My family, my friends
And each casual acquaintance
Was an alien in disguise.
I never let my guard down,
Just in case.
Sometimes I felt that God had chosen me
to be someone important
or that maybe I was God’s true son
like the next Jesus
which troubled me
because I knew it was a delusion of grandeur.
chris would tell mom
I was a paranoid schizophrenic.
I didn’t know what that was
so it freaked me the hell out.
I used to play ninja turtles with josh
back when everyone loved ninja turtles;
but secretly I loathed them,
I just wanted to sit in the same room with him
and feel like part of something big.
Then when everyone else outgrew their toys
I couldn’t let them go.
He had an issue of People Magazine
that showed a woman’s tits.
For some reason I couldn’t stop looking at it–
it was my addiction,
I adored it,
pleased as fuck
with the new inexplicable
threshold of intrigue.
I followed Josh around
and did whatever he did
because I thought I should be more like him
because he didn’t think about things as long as i did,
and that made him seem
like more of a real person.
I was a follower,
And I hated it
But there was nothing I could do
To stop it.
I wondered about my sexuality
Before I even had a sexuality
Before I knew the difference
Before I ever had to open my eyes
To the cold naked fact of the world.
I didn’t understand
My attraction to friends
Or my attraction to tits
Or the fear of being alone.
Scottie would complain
About niggers
And the rest of his family would laugh.
Later I told Josh
I was sick of all the blacks
b/c Josh idolized Scottie
as Scottie was funny
Scottie was tough
and Scottie used to beat the shit out of us.
Josh didn’t say a word,
Maybe he knew
I didn’t really hate blacks
Or maybe he didn’t hate blacks
But it is still one of the most humiliating
Moments of my life.
I hated Brad
because Brad had a southern
aristocratic foul mouth
big house and bad breath.
Back then we played football
Every day
And if you didn’t want to play
We beat the fuck out of you.
One time Brad threw the ball
And hit me in the side of the head
When my back was turned.
I threw his ball in the creek
And ran into the house
And cried.
Looking back
I would have kicked the shit out of Brad
But instead I went cryin to my mom.
One time
I beat the shit out of my younger
Friend Guarav
With one of those ungodly huge
Orange wiffle ball bats
For no reason at all.
I knew the whole time
That I should stop
But something deep down
Kept me going
Kept me swingin at poor Guarav
Like an addiction
I couldn’t get enough
I couldn’t control myself.
A neighbor lady witnessed the whole thing.
I could see the look of horror and disgust
On her face
And it made me swing all the more.
The lady freaked out
And told his mom
But I was fast
And got the hell out of there
And never got in trouble.
I wonder if Guarav
Could forgive me,
If he feels like a pussy
For getting beat stupid
Because a lot of the things I’ve done
In my life
Have been cowardly and coldblooded,
Even now;
Now that I am an adult
And trying to raise a child
And be the head of a household
Trying to be firm
Trying to be tough
And never run home to mommy
and teach by example
To never prey on the helpless;
Now that I am trying
To be a man
And never allow
That ancestral fear
Out into the open;
Trying to be tough
Now that this world
Has hardened me
With the mass’s bad breath
and the expectations
That come with being a leader;
With the curse that came
When my oldest descendant
Realized he was naked and ugly
And let that shame consume him;
Because I know full well
What atrocities I’m capable of
And I know the difference
Between right and wrong.
So I pray
That God forgive me
And help me make sense
Of this.

0 thoughts on “Naked

  1. this poem captures so much life, conscience and reflection. I don’t know what else to say. It’s nice to see a long poem that holds my attention all the way to the end, reminding me of so much from my own life. Really good job on this Softserve.

  2. wow. i was going thru h&h regulars and i’m so happy i came across this. captivating and touching from beginning ’til end. this is one of the most honest things i can really remember reading- hot damn. i don’t care if this is old. more people should’ve given mad props.

  3. I remember reading this but I don’t remember the words. I can’t come up with a reason why I didn’t comment immediately afterward. Maybe there just wasn’t time at the time. Thank you for reminding me of this.
    This poem should be read more often. It definitely had to be written. I will print it off and read it again tomorrow.

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