Who and Why

Why the guilt,
why the shame,
why the constant endless pain?

Is it right
that they sleep at night,
not knowing they've condemned me?

Why must I
feel I should die
to satisfy another's plan?

Who are they
to look at me,
and pronounce upon what is right?

Who's to say
that I have come
from the dark or from the light?

Why must I
judge myself
upon the empty words of others?

Why am I
not strong enough
to stand up with the others?

Why does every
backward glance,
every moment's brief distraction,
in my mind
grow many times
to a storm of violent action?

Why do I
feel constant eyes,
watchful, judgeful on my back?

Every devious thing I do,
another hour
on the rack.

Surely retribution's coming,
marked up in a tally book,
waiting for a final slip, an evil thought, a misplaced look.

Why must I
take heed of them,
why can I not cast aside
a thousand years
of bigotry
and hatred taken from the sky?

And why must I
be the unknown
that draws a fear in every heart,
why must I
be all alone,
torn from what I was once a part?

The evil thought
comes up to me:
if I were to fall back to grace,
I feel that I
would be as them,
I'd have that sneer upon my face.

I'd hate me for being
what I am,
I'd swallow all the bigotry,
I'd beat and kick
and kill and scream
for just a look upon my face.

Who am I
to judge of them,
to judge of those who judge of me?
I know that I
would be as them
if I were not what I must be.