i was not the better man.

i'll be the first to part lips and say it,
i'll be the first to shout it out, the first
to write it on every wall in vivid color,
to cast a sign in iron, to stretch neon letters
that scream to the world: no, no, jorge
was not the better man, and he never was-

the better man, the one who quieted,
the one who said it was all right and looked
down at his feet, who twisted inside and
released in private rooms, who overcame
with sheer tenacity and broke barriers with
a soft voice and softer hands, that was not-

me, but you lashed out first, but i lashed
back, i shouted things at you that hurt, i
took your cold eyes and found lustful cocks,
cheap nights in rooms i scarcely remember,
sex enjoyed because it wasn't you, because
i couldn't stand the sight of you, because
i was the faggot in the tower, the mooch
with nowhere else to go and you-

said some mean shit to me, you used to
tug my hair and call me dumb, said
i was scum they scrape off the streets,
that my poetry was worthless and maybe
i should just get over my papi, that i was
pathetic for lingering in the past, that only
faggots get molested because i wanted it-

and i called you a pussy because you
let your mom hit you and you cried when
i told you she castrated you, she made you
some husk of pasty skin, some inhuman thing
that can't feel anymore, that you were one
step above being a fucking psychopath-

so i was not the better man, and sometimes
you were kind: where was i to stay, had you not
opened your door? where was i to stay, had you not
wanted my figure sprawled on sheets, had you not
craved the "mediocre" sex i gave you, had you not
desired so for a boy to keep in your house, a boy
that had nowhere else to call a home?

i called you a pedophile, and i was not
the better man, i was never superior, i was never
anything more than what you said, and sometimes
i still believe your voice, that you knew me better
than anyone else can manage, that chris is blinded
in some genius that i do not posses, that your
pessimism meant the world, and that world
is the one we live in-

but when i needed a bed, when i needed you
the very most, when i was pleading and telling you
that those other lays meant nothing: you just
made me so angry, and i felt like maya angelou,
i felt emasculated, i felt like a woman, the
caged bird singing to no one but himself,

the faggot whore with nothing to his name
but a few clean months and a pretty mouth,

you said take your bags and leave, you said
i wasn't worth it, that i was too damaged to fix,
that you can't glue together a million tiny pieces,
that some are made of glass and others of steel
and i was the former, i was shattered, i was
going to burn out like a candle flame, not
a dying star, not a dying poet, not a man
who leaves the world in glowing beauty-

i was not the better man. i will never say
i was the better man, but i will say-

neither were you.