to the man who ruined my life

Dear Sir,

yes, I’m still here.
it’s been a few years
and I’ve gotten a little taller
and, my, have you grown.
I’ve kissed a few boys
and a few girls too,
and I’ve tried to pick up
all the pieces you left of me
and put them back together
but I’ve realised that I can’t.
my body looks as though
it’s been assembled
from cut-outs of a magazine
and nothing seems to fit quite right.
I think my eyes have gotten bigger:
those big blue eyes you liked so much?
it’s funny how you looked at them
more times than I can count
and you never saw my soul.

a man of G-d who led his sheep astray
when the wolves were out and hungry–
but not me.
you kept me in a five-foot pen
and wouldn’t let them hurt me.
I bleated so when the wolves found the others–
bleated and beat against my cage–
but you wouldn’t let me out.
your littlest lamb with the big blue eyes,
you’d never let the wolves hurt me.
not a speck of red would taint my white wool fur
but you’d set black cancer on my heart.
and when the other shepherd came
and drove the wolves far, far away,
he didn’t find me.

you sat on my bars with your mutton and ham
and you laughed your heart away;
and when it was gone
you pulled mine right out of my heaving chest
and wrapped it up in a cardboard box
and put it on your bookshelf,
next to the pictures of your boys
who left the men’s room smelling of urine;
and when you left us at last
you wouldn’t give it back.
so I had to make a new one
out of tinfoil and paper Mâché.
and when I put it in
I couldn’t find my family,
and the little lamb with the big blue eyes had gone
off into the Land of Forgotten Things
with Jesus and Confidence beside her.

now I’m Victor/Victoria torn from the script
and forced to live and breathe–
at least last time I checked–
but he/she can’t tell which part
is pretend and which is real.
I’m a tom-boy drag queen
who’s lost the audience
and I can’t remember
where the make-up starts
and the costume ends.
life’s become a set of events
in someone else’s serial,
but I tried out for the part of me
and didn’t get cast.
if I could remember what you did,
I’m not sure if I would hate you more:
I’m not sure if things would change
or if I’d remember that my daddy
wasn’t Satan after all.
oh, no. that was you.
with your tight white collar
and your shiny black shoes
and the accent I haven’t learned to trust.
you made me a racist somehow.

yes, Father, I’m still here:
with my marked-up script and my magazine life
and those great big eyes you loved so much.
I’m going to pluck them out and bring them to you:
I’ll get my heart back
and spit on your shoes.
then I’ll peel off the costumes
and the layers of skin
and try to find whatever it was
you decided to leave
deep inside this thing called me.

Summer 2005

© Charlie Pevensie


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