token friend

textbooks tell me humans
are social creatures.

humans need interaction to thrive.
humans need to love and feel loved.

anti-social. introvert.
shy. weird. awkward.
negative. crazy.

those are my names.
the names on my collar.
the names i respond to.

people who care.

they don’t.

they are friends
so long as i remember my names,
my place. to keep suitable distance.

can’t tell them my problems.
can’t ask them about theirs.

can’t confide in them for any reason.
can’t ask for help in my time of need.

who confides in me?

can’t expect them to come to me
when they need someone.
no matter how far out
i extend my hand.

i don’t talk to them.
they don’t talk to me.

i try to reach out.
i ask them to reach out

if they only thought anything
of my yearning to listen,
and my yearning to be heard.

cut off. ignored.

hey. how’s life?
don’t ask personal questions.
it’s inappropriate.

go away. we’re busy.
remember the names
engraved on your collar.

stay still and quiet
until we tug on your leash.

you speak when you are spoken to.
you are seen when we want you to be seen.

these are my friends.
this is my family.
this is the web life has
woven me into.

fuck them.
fuck them all.

i am not a token.
token is not written on my collar.
i am more than a fucking token!

i can fake a smile,
treat them as they treat me.
but i’d rather just let them all go.

cut the leash and become feral
that’s what i’ll be. feral.

watch them run.


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