I'm sorry that I need to apologize first.
I'm sorry that you find my words powerful
that they hit you in your heart
that they move you to tears
that you love them anyway.
I'm sorry that I write too much truth and not enough lies.
I'm sorry that I can't write cherry sno-cone on a hot summers day,
my writing has always been too wild blackberry:
warm, black and full on top -
but red underneath,
it packs a punch that will hit you,
just when you think it will go down easy
that you can't just read me like a comfort novel.
Sorry that I always change the punch line,
or take it too far, I am always the outlier.
My words skirt the fringes of comfortable
like watching a storm roll in:
there are stanzas that are showers
with lines like lightning strikes
I have a knack
for catching people without their umbrellas
and I'm sorry if I leave you in the rain.
I know thunder
is no way to communicate a gentle message
it's the only way
to let the past roll in.
I'm sorry that I sometimes use the word fuck.
Sorry that anger sometimes seeps out through my pores
hits the page, stains the paper like a watermark, I'm sorry
that this cannot be erased.
I'm sorry about my use of commas.
I know I use them incorrectly,
but I taught myself to write.
At the age of 14
teachers didn't know how to help me,
gave me 100s in my college classes,
told everyone I broke the curve
posted my grade on the board,
used me as an example to all the college sophomores,
told them they had to get their shit together
'cause the kid still years away from driving had them beat,
they made me hated
in my braces, and acne, and big glasses,
my mother asked me if I didn't think
I should make my poems rhyme,
critiqued my use of semi-colon, told me
I was just Too Much,
and I'm sorry
I need to bring them into this, but
have sometimes brought me trouble
has sometimes come under attack
and to hear my voice
you need to know:
I'm sorry I need to apologize first,
but my words are not a choice.
They are pressure waiting to escape
I let them out slowly
like loosening a valve,
they are a piece of my soul and I'm sorry
that I can't just hand it over, but
their initial release is the piece of creation
that feels a little like