Apologies (or, the heartfelt apology of a first year teacher)

Pardon me and my non existence.

Forgive me my sun-burnt hue,
the way it pierces your eyes with its glaring non-compliance.
Excuse the coils that sweep from my scalp a crown, reaching defiantly past you
into the heavens.

Ignore my absence from your world–-
tease me with my potential presence in the corner and the shadows,
promise me that eventually we will change.

Pleasure me with my own brilliance.

When I show you that I am not there in the world you have created, ridicule me.
Threaten me.
Beat me.
Promise me. Promise me that
If you change the you of you–your voice, your face, your attitude–then…”
leave the rest for never.
Give me a goal that I would rather be rendered soulless than reach.

Skin me until you find
the palatable white beneath.
Scalp me and burn away
the remnants of what grew there.
Rename me and replace me.


Forgive me if I despise you.
If I rise up against you and challenge you.
If my existence that you would prefer to not be scares you.
Excuse me if I fight you with fire
and if my cheek never turns to meet your lashes.
Forgive me if I burn the bridge
that swells between us, if I prefer
the wilderness to the solace of your hell.

Forgive me if my loathing you makes me visible
and if my loathing you makes you realize that
the rock,
the pit
the hollow in your stomach
is unveiling, the knowledge that you should be loathed.
That the hell that you have created for me waits

and waits

for you.

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