441. PTSD

The world is so busying telling me,

How I should feel and who I should be,

That it’s never, even once, stopped to think,

Whether I’m not exactly who I’m meant to be.

Maybe I will never be like you.

Maybe I’m not supposed to.

Maybe asking me to be something else,

Is the reason I can’t get through.

Maybe I would be okay,

If the world accepted what’s different.

Though, no matter how accepting it claims to be,

Some of us leave too much of an imprint.

We make a mess. Stand out too much.

Cops trail us and build up a case.

“It’s odd you were at the crime scene,

Even odder that your prints were all over the place!

Guilty by association, my child.

You’re guilty for showing-up: time and again.

You’re a victim, but perhaps an accomplice as well.

Did you not know it would drive you insane?

Now you are just as responsible.

Only criminals return to the crime!

You could have been normal…like us,

Instead, you’ve wasted this courts precious time.”

Yet, if we may speak to this court, sir.

We feel guilty and shameful each day,…

That we haven’t moved on…couldn’t move on…

And fell down, and apart, and astray.

We didn’t know how. We still don’t know now,

How to escape from that place,

Though if we could one day do so,

As you’ve stated, we’ve already left our trace;

A trace of guilt. A trace of our crimes,…

Of guilt by association.

No matter what we may say to these crimes,

The world will ne’er forgive the implication.

The implication that we are criminals.

That not being like you. Not living like you,

Is a bloody-bed of our own making;

For there’s only acceptance for crimes you live through,

But ones which stay, fester, and remain,

Which turn us wretched, and drive us insane,

Are the ones which society won’t accept.

And refuse to consider,…o’erlooking the brain.

Yes, the world is so busy telling me,

How I should feel and who I should be,

Yet has it ever wondered why we’re not free,

To be who life has made us to be?

No, I am not like you or them,

And no, I will never be in the end;

Though just because I am different,

Must I be rejected ’til the end?

Placed up on trial again, and again to defend…

Why I am the way I am?

I’m a lifetime of sounds and sights you can’t see.

Yet, men like to spurn what they don’t understand,

And charge for the crime of PTSD.

K. Aldaya, 5/23/18

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419. What Do You Call It?

What do you call it when someone’s judged by their skin?

When they’re told, “You’re a certain way and don’t fit in”.

What do you call it when they’re picked on for their shade?

When they’re told they are wrong, just for how they were made?

What do you call it when they’re blamed for who they are?

“Your skin is the reason why you deserve a scar”.

What do you call it when they’re told: “Change your color!”.

Told: “It isn’t right” or “You should have another”?

I’ll tell you what it is called…It’s called racism, right?

Though I wonder what you’d say if I told you they were “white”.

K. Aldaya, 11/29/17