An Honest Poem
I am a high-functioning adult. I have a schedule: I wake up. I go to lab. I go to Trader Joe’s on Wednesday nights to buy avocados when they are on sale. I wait for things to be on sale. I make doctor appointments that I am always too busy to attend. I am the type of high-functioning adult that will be too busy to attend my own funeral. I eat bagels. I use a coffee maker. I laugh with people I do not like, but have to like because they sign my paychecks. I do not smile on the subway. I say I’m fine when people ask how I am doing. I am a high-functioning adult. Which also means I am a liar. And I don’t actually own a coffee maker. Some days I cry for no reason about stupid stuff. Like skin. Some days it’s easier to write a poem about being a black girl than actually being a black girl. Cuz there’s no one there to clap when you have to correct the friends who call you a racist. And that one time, remember? when the man told you to suck his dick while you were walking with your girlfriend? That’s not a punchline. That’s just a Thursday night, you know some everyday shit. When people see you and insult you. And you just stand there sad and depressed. Because all you really are is a sad, depressed black girl who only defends herself in poems. Who only think of witty shit to say after she’s let people stomp all over her, like what did the roadkill say to the car before it became roadkill?
—By Crystal Valentine