i have always had trouble with-

wait.

stop, rewind, reverse/reverse go back.

i have always had trouble.

i am trouble, as the margins of my

elementary school report cards like to tell my mother.

i am too loud in class,

too quiet in group projects,

too much.

("you are too MUCH!" the girls used to

laugh, when i told a joke

without realizing it.)

(the girls still

laugh.)

i have always had trouble with people.

stop, rewind, reverse/reverse go back.

i have always had trouble.

i am trouble, so sayeth the beautiful

ones, the effortless

ones, the royalty and nobility, because i

am hideous- my eyes are different

sizes, and my skin is sallow and

pockmarked, scalded, and i am shaped

like my grandmother-

a monstrous silhouette in the doorway just

before midnight, scaring all the good

little boys almost to death.

("you so ugly-" the boys used to

laugh, making friends and fun and of me,

when i forgot not to look away.)

(the boys still

laugh.)

i have always had trouble with beauty.

stop, rewind, reverse/reverse go BACK.

i have always had trouble.

i AM trouble, and this is

showing, not telling, the

screaming and crying and throwing and

that is where their heads start

shaking, where their

fingers start wagging.

i am no good, i am

a ne'er-do-well, a

delinquent and reprobate and un

grateful child.

("he's trouble." my family

says, pointing and

whispering behind their

hands.)

(my family doesn't

whisper, anymore).

i have always had trouble with my family.

stop, rewind, reverse/reverse go BACK.

(please)

i have always been trouble.