Just a piece I'm working on for a spoken word performance in school.


He says, "Tell me a secret."

I can't.

The moment those words leave my lips the camera drops from my fingertips.

I can't.

My heart stops beating, my lungs are screaming, my mind is racing, breath isn't the only thing I'm chasing.

I can't.

"I can't" isn't just a state of mind or a phrase of mine nor a will of might or a lesson in life. A decision I make as the words just escape like a scapegoat too late to take back or erase.

I can't.

Like "I won't" or Could've, should've would've if I'd known. Connotation, denotation, abbreviation, it's all the same.

I can't.

Twist my words, play a game, melt my will, ignore the pain. I don't imitate you, you don't mock me.

I can't.

Shield the blame, toss the shame, put us on edge and smirk at the frame. The picture we exist in somehow more than an image, more than a memory of the silencing of hearts that burn. Then again, you always did know how to make a girl squirm. Strip her of her hopes and dreams and watch with glee while she cries and screams.

I can't.

Play the hero disguised as the villain who is disguised as the innocent by-stander harmed in the crossfire.

I can't.

Lure people in with tales that make their heads spin, conjure stories, grand and magnificent to pull them in, inside a web of maliciousness.

I can't.

I won't say now though you always knew how this mind of mine worked and to you, such a valuable perk. You can sit back, relax, pretend you're in charge, but while you're screwing with me your brain is returning the mess times three.

I can't.

As simple as a dance, the first ballet in which a child participates and becomes so scared she freezes after the first plie.

I can't.

Because anything I say can and will be used against me in this court of law also known as society, also known as social cliques, also known as high school, also known as the big L-I-F-E, life.

I can't.

Constantly being monitored, being censored, being pushed one way and prodded the other. Watch what you say, what you do, what you think, what you mean, what you want, what you need, what you wish you could be, what you hope, what you dream, but most importantly, watch what you eat?

I can't.

Because one little slip to you will mean that everyone I know will know that you know that they know that we know that he knows that she knows that I know what I know. You know?

I can't.

Because while I may never see you again, so long as some entity is protecting my back, the past has a horrid way of catching up with you right. When. You least. Expect it.

I can't.

Just one little secret, no harm in speaking it, so far as you say, but won't return the favor anyways. A bit too personal, a tad too striking, a smidge too haunting, something a girl like me couldn't handle. Ooo. But mine are open for jabs. Can you tell me where's the trust in that?

I can't.

Yes, I'm questioning your abilities as a man. I'm going against your moral opposition to anti-social displacementism, whatever that means. Must be a guy thing.

I can't.

You know, just like those girl things, like staying up late playing with Barbies, having big sleepovers and pajama parties? Playing dress-up and wearing our mom's make-up? Because we're so primitive and simultaneously so complex and whopping, massive, feminists. Have you picked up a dictionary lately?

I can't.

So somewhere in the midst of this rant I hope you can find it in you to understand that in order to receive you must give something worthy, but the only thing from you that is free is my best friend Pity, and yours, a little three-letter acronym we all learned about in Health Education. Ouch. That burns.

I can't.

So go ahead, I dare you! Tell me a secret! You never quite know. This time, I might just believe it.


What do you think?