#PoemADay No.17: I Guess I Hide

I don't dance in front of people often,
not because I can't dance.
I just don't like the questions that rise after my joyful exhibitions. 
So I dance in the pockets of time that hide between prying eyes.
Though I shower sing outside the shower,
I compose trap concertos and host concerts for one
in private,
I guess I hide.

I block the covers of my books when I read
because I know those covers are a side window to my soul.
I know what you read
is who you are,
and sometimes, 
I'm just not ready to share all that on a planet with too many opinions.
I guess I hide.

In the corners of my mind,
wars rage, my demons fall, I carry twin blades, I conquer it all,
I make giants my footstool and turn ideas to titans,
I overthink destiny, obsess over purpose, 
question the nights when free time comes all too easy,
I lose myself in the music,
one or two chords morph into one or two hours--
what I'm saying is
on the outside
my body reads stoic,
but inside
my blood flows holy with the seeds of a wildly dramatic poet drunk on epic stories
that could one day be, 
an ex-field slave that ran the flames of hell through the last bit of master's things.
But what you see instead is my cool, my calm, my collected, my cover, my crown,
the scholar, the gentleman, the vest & button-down,
the good house negro with blissful dreams of homicide,
I guess I hide.

Put more accurately, 
I compartmentalize. 
I've learned through surprise-stricken faces
and familial expectations
and Western collegiate education
that my fire and ice don't go together in homogenous minds,
and I just happen to live in a pseudo-intimate world--
we prefer to be naked, as long as our clothes stay on,
so why get naked if I can just play along?
Plus I am my father’s son,
so I can manage this double life for awhile,
compartmentalize then optimize, 
then actualize
so they only see
what I know they won't ostracize, 
and they'll respect me because I'm juuuuust right--
not too hood, not too elitist, not too righteous, not too heathen.
That's all I gotta do right?
Just hide?

Just hide.


Cover Photo by Tyrell Charles on Unsplash