The Tenth Grade

The first time I realized

I wasn't who I thought I was

I was in the tenth grade.

I was young enough to be afraid.

I was old enough to understand.

I was scared.

Not of myself

but of the world.

That they'd say I needed to be repaired.

That I was broken,

Nothing more.

That thought left me curled

up in a ball.

It left me silent,

not ready to open that door.

Alone

in my room.

I could be her.

This girl I realized in the tenth grade.

I kept a lock on my phone

because while my friends collected pictures

of hot men,

mine were different.

I was different.

I let this out not in speech

but with my ballpoint pen.

Despite all of this

I was free.

I finally understood

and that was bliss.

I was in the tenth grade.

I was afraid.

I understood.

I was free.

I was gay.

The End

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