Funny Girl

there is one adjective that'll ruin your life.

once someone calls you funny,
you're cursed.

no one will take you seriously anymore,
for you are their personified joke.
they'll mock your words,
 find loopholes in your art,
and use you for their personal gain.

you'll never take a compliment again because you fear they'll take it back
and you'll slowly feel worthless because people see you as their zoloft.

once you are funny,
you cannot be anything else.
you are a joker, 
an amateur comedian, 
trying to break the curse someone with good intentions gave you decades ago. 

so there i was, funny.
i wouldn't call myself hilarious or witty, even.
i was a funny girl.

people ripped away anything feminine or fragile about me.
they forgot i needed love and companionship.
they pointed their fingers at me when i was on the dance floor
and i would hibernate in embarrassment for days.

when i got a new dress 
or did my hair
they all competed to see who could humiliate me the most,
forgetting to realize the effort i put in.

i knew i was a funny girl,
but i also knew i was so much more than that.

i let others words define me more than they should.
i let people i barely knew put me in a shell. 

but when i went home i would write poetry
and sing sad songs about pretty girls and boys
and i felt so unpretty, so worthless
because i was so laughable.

i never thought anyone would love me because i didn't see myself as a soulful, breathing girl.
i saw myself as an adjective.

one day i got up on stage and told them i was the greatest star.
they didn't believe me, but they still chuckled at my jokes backstage.

but i didn't care much, no, of course not.
i woke up one day and i made my bangs blunt,
because i was ready to be trenchant.
 i put on a black chiffon shirt
and some red lipstick,
because i was ready to destroy the shell everyone built for me.

i remember starring in the horizontal mirror,
apprehensive and afraid to unveil my mask.

"i am all things, i am not your words.
i am defined by me.
i am me
and you cannot define me."

i lost all of my friends
and i was no longer funny.

they still tell the tale about the funny girl they used to know,
and how she betrayed them for a better life.

how dare she.

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