10 Excuses for Being the Way I Am
by Bria Dinkins
1. Last year on my birthday I woke up to an earthquake between my ears. There was damp
soil on the white soles of my shoes and in my shoes. It was the kind you bury people in.
2. I was scratched by the raven claws of your presumption and caught by the cheesecloth of
the same prayer—yes, it was a violet sun I was smothered by.
3. I am the girl from the red peek-a- boo nobody knows about. When I get a glimpse of it I
remember the feel of the bull.
4. All I know of are the razor’s kisses on my finger pads. I let my cat lick chocolate syrup
off the raw parts.
5. I have back problems. You see, my school bag was heavy. My doctors were surprised
when they realized it was just books in there.
6. Books don’t weigh that much.
7. She was beautiful, she still is. Except can you still be that beautiful when you’re dying at
8. I apologize, but it was I who just a few minutes before had hoped someone would take
me away and teach me how to love them in any way that they pleased.
9. And yet when they came I wanted to yell at them to go away. There are no spare parts
10. I like to think I am a person consumed by reason.