I believe in boys with sad eyes and soft smiles.
I believe in girls who roar back at the thunder
and still kiss like the first time they fell in love.
I believe in the people who’s skin never felt like home to them,
so they carved home out of the dust beneath their shoes
and kept on going.
I believe in all the ones who are told they don’t belong.
I don’t think I belong either.
I don’t know what it means to “belong”
but I know the ones shouting have nothing to offer,
that fitting in is the fad diet we’re all starving ourselves to.
I believe in us.
The ones who have never felt good enough.
I believe in the girl next door, who likes to be called “her”
but who woke up, today, with a gender that felt like
hand spun wool and spilled milk,
and who still doesn’t know how to tell her mother.
I believe in the ones dating the wrong people
so their parents won’t have to know
who it is they want to love.
I believe in a fear like that.
I believe in the kindness of strangers
and I believe that turning a blind eye
isn’t what makes you bad.
It only makes you scared like the rest of us.
I believe people learn to be brave.
I believe in the hands picking flowers as much
as I believe in the hands that plant them.
Because sometimes our hearts are too big for our bodies
and they like to go bumping against each other–
love doesn’t mean what you think it does.
You and I don’t love the same, but we are,
all of us, out here loving.
I believe in the collection of fingerprints you pick up
from everything in the world you have ever touched.
If I believe in anything,
I believe that that
By Ashe Vernon
Ashe Vernon is a produced playwright, an actor, and a poet. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, but found poetry when she most needed it. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a degree in theatre and gender studies. Before she hits the job market with her oh-so-impressive fine arts degree, Ashe is spending the summer on tour doing spoken word with her best friend and partner in crime. Her first book of poetry, Belly of the Beast, was published by Words Dance Publishing and her second, Wrong Side of a Fist Fight, will be coming out through Where Are You Press, this July. She spends most of her time writing her way out of dark places, and looking to the stars. Ashe has featured in venues across Texas, such as The Standpipe Coffee House in Lufkin, Nacogdoches Literary Readings, and Love Jonz Spoken Jazz, in Duncanville. She has placed first at WriteAboutNow in Houston and her work has been published in Word Dance Magazine, and volumes one and two of the Literary Sexts anthologies. Ashe has no concept of the term “inside-voice” and spends every waking hour with her giant bear-cub of a cat. She plans on moving to a big city and covering herself with tattoos. It’s going pretty well, so far.