Naomi

Naomi liked to wear black

and pretend

to forget what other people were saying about her.

She listed

and wilted

against the stage

and the monarchy that ruled us with iron fists.

We,

rebelled.

Cutting class to hang out in plain sight

waiting to get caught

just so we could test our acting skills.

Naomi liked to wear black

and pretend

that people weren't talking about her

and I pretended with her.

In the bathroom

after lunch

I believed you

when you said that you weren't feeling well

as the food left you

and swam away where it could not hurt you.

Nothing much mattered to us then

except having fun

when you couldn't hear what they were saying.

Naomi liked to wear black

and look away

when those people whispered about her.

Naomi liked to harm herself

because of Rex

and those people

who didn't want her to be special.

Naomi liked to scream

that no one knew her

no one got it.

Naomi liked to cut her skin open

to watch herself bleed

as though the blood would create a trail

and lead the way to her happiness.

Rex

liked to put his hand on her cheek and then take it away.

Naomi

could ignore them when his arm was around her.

I

couldn't stop them

or her

from the pain that was burrowing

and burring our performances

our dramatics

or ways of getting by

in a place

that was stifling us.

Naomi liked to wear black

but she never forgot what people were saying about her.