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To My Chosen Family


I set out from the smoke

Like some would-be epic villain

Soon-to-be hero with a backdrop of

The smoldering city that I had

Destroyed because humanity

Had done something awful to me

In some tragic back story

Where everyone I love is killed

Because {enter your favorite super hero here}

Was saving the day, but too busy

To watch where they set down that bus

And I was just a child, watching

As your magnificent hero

Robbed me of happiness

Instilled me with trauma

Like some update to a video game

It took years before it clicked

But when it did, like some sociopath

I clipped out newspaper stories

I took photos of your hero, stalked them

Planning their demise

But I digress…


You see the problem with villains in super hero movies

Is that in every movie, there will come a moment

When the villain is hanging from the side of a cliff

Or their mechanical suit that has wrought destruction starts to spark

Or they look at what they’ve become and suddenly decide that justice is ending their life


And the hero reaches out to them

Tries to reason with them, to save them

And yet, the villain will always die a villain

The writer has given up on them

Decided that what once was broken

No matter how painful their life was

They are unforgivable

They write this way because the assumption is

The audience will not forgive them

They have already lost the hope

That they could change

In order that the hero be heroic

Compassionate to a fault


But the villain refuses to grab their hand and they fall

Destroyed by the very thing they created

Never going to see some

Idea of a better world

Come to light in the darkness


So I emerge,

The smoke behind me

Two hearts broken

I put brick after brick of guilt into a bag

Like souvenirs

To weigh my shoulders down

I walk into every conversation

Expecting to burn a bridge

Asking you to set fire to it with me

Because I feel so broken

And no matter how painful life had been

I feel unforgivable

And my assumption is

That you will not forgive me

I’ve already lost the hope

That I could change


I was looking to be punished

Begging you to hate me

The way that I hated me

But you, you refused

To be the hero

You leaned over and repeated four words

It’s not your fault

At first it took me by surprise

It’s not your fault

I looked at you, unsure what to make of it

It’s not your fault

I started to feel my knees give out from under me

It’s not your fault

Tears burned down my cheeks

It’s not your fault

You held me


You didn’t need the power of flight

Or invisibility, or super strength

You didn’t even look at

The wreckage I had left behind

You just listened

To what my soul was asking

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