You didn’t want to go to the party.
You weren’t just saying that, either.
You wanted to wrap your hair and
Take a bubble bath.
Maybe light some candles.
Put on your music.
Close your eyes
And just “be.”
But you didn’t have a choice. If you stayed
In your small bathroom, the space
That was yours, there would still
Be no room for you.
The party would (as it was prone to do)
Encroach on your space.
In your space you would be hyper visible
Questions would be tossed your way
But they wouldn’t be for you—
And besides, who asks a question
Without already having the answer anymore?
The party, you reason, could have been in
The Other Space. The Other Space isn’t called that, of course.
The Other Space simply is. It is the space that you occupy that is Other.
Still. It could have been there, in that space.
The one reserved for such
Events and such people—they who are
Now that they decided parts of you are welcome
(But only if you are silent)
You have to come.
If you don’t you’re deplorable and you’re causing tension.
You are the reason the tension exists, if you don’t come.
You are making them uncomfortable, they can’t even
Align with you you make them so angry,
And how dare you not smile wider and thank them for inviting you?
It doesn’t matter that last week you weren’t welcome
And next week you’ll be called on to prove
Your humanity. They want you now, so you’ll come now.
So the party is at your place. It doesn’t look like
Your place. There’s furniture that you don’t recognize
And though you work hard you can’t afford what they’ve replaced your things with.
There’s food that you do recognize,
But when the party is here the food gets a different name
And a higher price.
You want your space.
They suggest that it’s wrong to call any place yours,
That you are creating tension.
They say this through the glass; you were invited, but you are
In another room. The room you are in is cold
And stuffed with a thousand other people who are
Nothing like you
And yet, you are all alike.
You are called upon en masse.
There is only room for one, the hosts say apologetically,
Except they aren’t sorry.
In fact, they wonder why there must be more than one of you there.
Why can’t you just enjoy watching the party?
Why don’t you have your own party?
You point out that you did have your own party.
And you stocked your house with your own things.
And you made your own beauty.
And they came, uninvited.
They moved you from your place and blamed you.
They took your things—those they thought they could use—
And because they no longer belonged to you, they had value.
They renamed what made you beautiful
And they flaunted their new pieces for the world to see
And they made certain that you knew
What is ugly on you is made beautiful by them.
You aren’t allowed to want. You cannot feel.
You have to be in this space. Your shoulders are necessary
For them to climb on, you are useful
For when a soul needs trodding.
You are the bar below which
They cannot fall.
You move from their space—the space that used to belong to you—
And you breathe, but only for a little while.
They argue amongst themselves right now, but you understand
Their favorite argument is you.
Speaking for you and over you, but never to you.
Never with you, or after you, never silent enough
For you to speak for yourself.
The conditions of their hatred of each other always seem to be met
On the battlefield of you.
You wonder idly if there is a place or time that you might go
To find peace.
They are angry with you for suggesting this.
They reminisce about better times.
They would like for you to know that your place is nowhere
And that you are no one.
And that this party that they keep throwing around you
Is meant to bind you
And eventually destroy you.
You lower your eyes and speak softly
And they cover your mouth
And muffle your words
And they smother you
And watch the life flee from you
And they never consider your life at all
For they are human
And you are other
And there is no place for you
Save for the grave that they have built.