Poem: "Stranger"

© 1993 by Andersen Silva

Stranger in a strange land; I feel I was born
     At the wrong time,
     Or in the wrong culture,
     Or on the wrong planet.

You can't think in terms of the race.
     To you, the most important thing is (has always been)
MY family, or
MY friends, or
MY community, or
MY nation, or
MY God. Humankind is the only god I worship.

Can you comprehend that I,
     who have known you for a few minutes,
Or days, or months,
     Love you? No, not romantically/sexually.
I love you as a fellow human. Can you say the same for me?

My attempts to change your lives
     Seem to come to naught.
I try to include you, in some small way,
     In my small life,
Yet I am shut out of yours. I try to remember you
In all I do,
     Yet I am constantly forgotten or overlooked.
You mean a great deal to me,
     And I wish you could see and acknowledge that,
     And I wish I could mean something to you, too.

I am not a happy man; the two things that could make me happy,
     The world coming together
     Or finding my eternal soul mate,
Seem poised forever out of reach.
All my possessions mean nothing;
     My friends are all that keep me going.
With their help, I can be happy for a while,
     Until I'm reminded, or
     Until one of my friends
Penetrates the Wall with an unintended thrust.
I can no longer be hurt by the world,
     But those I allow to glimpse through my Wall
See a more defenseless me, and can scar me for life.

I am perceived as too sensitive;
     The truth is that I'm numb to the outside world now,
But the people I let inside the Wall can change my moods
Like turning on and off the lights.
     I can't explain it to you,
     I can only ask you to accept it.

The Preacher has been built upon the foundations
     Of earlier personalities, and most of the unsavory characteristics
     Have been left behind.
An acid tongue remains as a weapon built into the Wall,
     And to those burned by it, I am truly sorry.
I'm tired of playing mind games.
I'm tired of not letting you know how I really feel,
     And of you not letting me know how you really feel.
I'm tired of portraying myself as a funny bastard with a psychotic streak,
     And of you believing that I really am.
I'm tired of driving you away when I feel down,
     And of you going away, when I really need you.
I'm tired of you not comprehending that
     You're so very special
     To me,
And that
     I wish I were special
     To you, too...