individual

I hear it again

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I hear it again
the faint ticking
much like that of crickets
outside a summer window

the voice
crystal clear
in even the largest of crowds
my un-subdued conscious

it guides me
my own north star
and my internal compass
it is all that is good

I thought it was gone forever
my days continually spiraled down a black hole
I heard little but the shadowy white noise
of this world

which cares little of me

I welcome
its candor and beauty
with open ears
and a full heart

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I rose from the ashes of a desolate town

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I rose from the ashes of a desolate town

laid aside by many

a place never thought twice of

 

I rose through struggles and challenges

bearing strength and brilliance

forged by a community who displayed the same

 

I rose to be me

a unique individual

looking to find my place in the world around me

I am me.

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I am me.

 

You are you.

 

But she is her

and he is him.

 

One word:

 

Conformity.

 

The word weighs down on those around it.

Crushing every ounce of their individuality

until it has been replaced by a new word:

 

 

Fear of being different.

Fear of failure.

Fear of being looked down upon.

 

A young girl sits in the back of the room.

Ahead of her are girls who have been molded into one:

curled hair,

bright shirts,

expensive jeans,

and Nikes.

A boy sits at the park

and watches as every other boy his age is asked to play basketball.

He looks at his cheap white sneakers and knows he’s an outcast.

He has not conformed

but he wants to.

 

Three words:

 

Be. An. Individual.

 

Be who you are.

Not the person the world wants you to be.

the world has gone stark

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the world has gone stark

its beauty depleted

what once was has

faded into the wavering ozone above

a green slinky ring weaving

through the now grey sky

marks its place

shades of grey and green

replace the once vibrant palate of color

all individuality

lost

on either side of me

stand similar versions of myself

women with short hair

men with even shorter hair

dark pants and shirts

creased like newspapers straight off the press

we are told what we can do

anything else

don’t even bother

so we stand

facing forward

as eyes continually watch us

I long to remember what I’ve been told to forget

an image passes across my eyes

fades into the distance

an unusually substance arises in my right eye

and rolls smoothly down my cheek

as hard as I try not to

I blink

and suddenly

the crosshairs are aimed on me

the world is now black