issue 1: sept 2015, Poetry
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T.O.L.D. by Derion King

By: Derion E.J. King

Being this way was not my choice
I did not walk through that door…
who would make such a decision to purposefully face ridicule, death threats, abandonment from family and so called friends…
or the internal ongoing battle with “Does God love me? ”
“Does God accept me for who I am?”
subconsciously maybe I did…
It came to me in a dream one night while I was thirteen
and upon my awakening, deciding from there on out, I was only going to place a dick in my mouth…
…hiding the truth and living a lie because the pastor says if I’m not straight and living by God’s word I won’t make it into Heaven…
I’d go straight to Hell.
…meanwhile the exact same preacher had me getting on my knees after Sunday service and it wasn’t to pray.
Stay woke.
I’m trying to keep you hip to his game.
Now I am vulnerable, scared, and confused
Dazed by the fact I just started to realize I’d been abused
What do I say? Who do I turn to?
Mom and Dad didn’t believe me and perpetually called me names and said disheartening things like…
“Stop lying on that man you black faggot. I knew something was wrong with you…why didn’t I collect a check for you when I had the opportunity to?”
Their words pierced through my soul straight to my brain and temporarily made me insane
Was I straight? Was I gay? All these titles and I didn’t have time to get to know me…
the real ME
Generationally psychologically indoctrinated to believe that’s all there was but how can that be?
I didn’t ask to be born…I didn’t want to learn about none of that shit until I was ready.
So I set out on a self-destructive mission to service the growing malignant void inside of me
Explicably necessary at this point to find a way to escape the inner demons battling within my being
Horizontally scraping away the superficial layer of this black devalued, dehumanized and desensitized flesh
Steady and consistent motion, back and forth until I would feel enough to circumvent the pain I was masking
Exposing the flowing river of crimson tears raining underneath
because it felt better than Mr. DL preacher man’s crotch being forcefully jammed into my esophagus like clockwork every Sunday
…desperately needing an elixir to quench the thirst dying inside of my body…
That’s when Jack Daniels and Mr. Music became my best friends…
they never disrespected me.
they never lied to me.
they made me feel good.
they made me feel like life wasn’t so destitute and bleak…because I knew…
Telling someone my secrets would be difficult because I would open my mouth but
silence was the only word I could speak.
All I wanted was for it to stop reverberating in my ear…
for all my thoughts and emotions to retreat for just one night.
Glass after glass…bottle after bottle consumed…
falling into a happy stupor where music notes, stars and unintelligible figures resided this place…
…when suddenly one night, I envisioned his face and in a heart palpitating sweat
I awoke and decided it was time to seek help before I became lost without a trace.
Convinced myself to no longer allow the scars and battle wounds of my past to remain a part of the present to inflict unnecessary harm on my future
…and that’s the moment when Mr. Music once again became my refuge.
…the first songs I remember hearing were “Butterfly” and “Outside”.
Their melodies soothed my being…note after note euphorically lifting me
minute after minute
hour after hour
day after day
helping me to rediscover who I was…
…the unquenchable potential that burned within me to be nothing like my Mother or Father
or the man who manipulated and stole my innocence like I was the wrapper to his favorite piece of candy that he chewed up and threw in the trash
…disrespectfully disregarded me as if I was not a life form…a thing of the past…
unrelenting bliss found me as I re-found myself in the form of a Man that loved me just as much as I began to learn loving myself again…
He showed me that no matter who I was,
what I am
whether gay, straight, bisexual, or transsexual
that His presence is omnipresent and that in time, with His love and guidance, life does get better.
…and as these tears fall knowing that I believe in His message and approach the end of this road…
please be comforted young brother.
wipe your tears away.
You are not invisible.
You are not worthless.
You are not alone.
I know your pain. I’m pleading for you to swing open the windowpane
…and know that the moment you scream out and cry for me, turn around and there you’ll see
…in the reflection of the mirror
because young brother
it’s time to let go.
All of it.
Let’s be free.
Because you
and He
are all we need.

Derion is a twenty-something year old poet and singer/songwriter living in Washington D.C. He is currently undertaking a Bachelors of the Arts degree in Forensic Psychology. Illustration by Nina Storey.

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