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“I’m rubber and you’re glue

Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you,”

Was the saying we were taught to say

Because it was believed to make everything okay.

Yet if you constantly stretch out the same piece of rubber

You will surely discover

Tearing beginning to form and what once bounced back

Will soon begin to stick to seal that crack.

The rubber that once was is no more.

It will be found in a different state than before.

The glue gun fires although you have your hands up

Screaming, “I surrender!” to a word war you didn’t startup.

Next thing you know, you are a walking arts and crafts project

Because you are and will continue to be their favorite target.

Colored with words and slurs:

“Slut! Whore! White Trash! Cunt! Did you see that fucked up face of hers?”

A paper mache product of images

Because they have the power to determine what your image is.

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Is another response that adults supply

To us, not knowing that they will gladly

Tell you who you are. And sadly,

You believe them, the lies are who you must be.

After hearing the same statements again and again, you agree.

And soon you find yourself attending your own baptism,

The taunts that they say becomes the water that you will bathe in.

And one day after you are baptized

You will wake up and realize

That this is not you but real lies.

There is no need for you to undergo a metamorphosis

Because you will fully understand this metaphor for what it is:

In elementary, a club was formed based on the hatred of me,

I could not be a member because I had yet to learn how to hate me.

In middle school the club re-emerged, but it wasn’t until high school that

That I found myself wanting to greet its members with a welcome mat

As I quickly found myself becoming nothing more than the answer key

For everyone’s homework and for a certain insecurity.

Food would be brushed onto me as my friends sat by

Saying that they would speak up next time, yet that is when I

Said good bye because I only wanted to be with people who did good by me.

Those who I thought were my friends all chose to oversee

Making me feel alone oversea.

My rubber’s latex lost its elasticity

Because my late ex became lost in ecstasy

And for a long time I thought the problem was me.

A sixteen year old girl who hoped that he

Could be the glue that would hold me together

When all he did was stretch me further to get her

Out. A part of me desperate for positivity

Hoping to find a break from negativity.

He would call me beautiful

To ensure that his needs would be full.

I knew that he did not care for me, yet

I found myself stuck in his glue net

Because I convinced myself that I was lucky

To finally have someone look at me

And utter

You’re beautiful, all while ignoring the mutter

Of a request that would always surely follow

Because I thought he was filling the part of me that was hollow.

When the relationship ended, I held myself at fault

Causing more pain to my wounds by simply adding more salt.

I must have done something for people to constantly treat me badly,

It’s a thought that I still have to shake off from this day.

Because the truth is, once glue is dried, it can be peeled

Right off. And everything that glue concealed

Will finally be revealed. The rubber that was once stretched out

Snaps back into place and the rubber is about

Ten times longer

And perhaps ten times stronger.

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