Content warning: mild references to homophobia, family struggle, and low self-esteem

screaming without my given Mouth

of the caged gray matter

suppression of self and suppression of sound

eye without storm within:

repeatedly prodding at one’s own cornea in hopes for a better perspective.

fear of speaking

fear of expression

hammered in by culture

locking an inner pandora’s box

hatred of personal freedom of speech.

clamped by the arm by friendly hands and pushed

locks freed, shackles released

bent bars from pushing branching influence

peers to acquaintances to friends

intellectual comradery and emotional propellers

branching warm arms to curl against my lungs and squeeze

not to choke but to push out air

vibrate chords to form sonic flight

to clench hands with

a stranger by time, but family by idea

and stand in front of judges and fellow spokespeople

to use the given Mouth

family and friends

relations which are parallel lines

connecting lines that were never there

uncover marks on the psyche

and share broken bonds as wisdom

shape black tar of the mind into something beautiful and crushing

into quantifying and containing and causing


mysticism to defog misunderstanding but clarity to those who experience

a gift

confess a “forbidden” love

of duality, singularity, similarity, and

queerness disagreed upon by the nonqueer

yelling out disgust of disgusted judgment and accepting of all matter

thoughts from a community so much more than those misrepresenting

lens of stress, lens of woe, lens of life

to write and speak through seeing glass

portal to see out

and for those without to see what is within

vulnerability as courage


skin not thick but soft with understanding

through conveying the self and shaping words to become siphoning ideas

and tapping into the individual to weave self-expression


my forever thank you

for teaching me

to use my given Mouth.


– Melodie, California

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