20 Regrets (or You Can Call Me Bruce)
In kindergarten arts & crafts,
a classmate called my project ugly.
Honestly, it looked like vomit-
too much glue, not enough tissue paper.
But I should've torn up his artwork
instead of mine.
In first grade, not knowing how
to process emotions, I knocked a girl over
when she kissed me on the cheek.
I also called her ugly. She wasn't
and I didn't wash my face for a week.
Her arm, broken from the accident,
was in a cast for much longer.
In fourth grade, math stumped me.
I just couldn't master my times tables
like all the other kids. I broke
a pencil every time I felt stupid.
I seemed to have nothing but broken pencils.
In 1994, Jack Kirby died.
He created my favorite character, the Hulk.
I missed my opportunity to write him
a thank you letter for a hero I could relate to.
In sixth grade, the school play:
it was just a small role but damn!
I wanted to be flawless, rehearsed relentlessly.
I got so nervous I threw up on stage.
I earned the name Puke Face.
When I was 15, dad left us.
He explained that he found a new woman
to start a family that he could love.
He never apologized.
I punched a hole in my wall
wishing it was his face.
I should've tried to make more friends.
But I wanted more time for tv and comics.
Despite diligent studying,
I failed yet another math test.
I don't remember hitting my locker that hard
but school fined me for destruction of property.
There will always be bullies.
I thought I deserved the teasing
so I didn't stand up to them.
Except one... sort of.
I killed his dog.
My grandparents always wanted to see me.
I was just too busy or
they lived too far away.
Now I miss them and they're gone,
so much further away than they've ever been.
I don't think I saw my therapist long enough.
I should've started exercising sooner.
Every time hunger trumped foresight
and I ate off a taco truck.
Would superman ever eat Kryptonite
because it smelled good in a corn tortilla?
How long did members of the Manhattan Project
relish in their pride before the fallout of regret?
You are the most beautiful thing
I've ever been a part of.
Sometimes I just don't know how to cope.
Sometimes I just get angry.
I try meditation and yoga,
I try to find my Zen.
But like Bruce Banner something green
and ferocious rages inside of me.
Sometimes I need to smash.
Sometimes I need to feel your skull crack
beneath my knuckles.
Rip the plaster off the walls of a temple,
it's still a temple, still holy
I'm sorry for how these fists
try to redecorate your face, for the ugly
colors they try to paint over your beauty.
if you weren't so damn beautiful
I could feel like I deserved you,
wouldn't be reminded of things I am not
every time you smile at me; maybe
if you were just a little bit damaged, I
wouldn't feel so broken.
I'm sorry for how my hands say I Love You.
I should have never let you stay.
How did you love me?
I'm sorry that all I have are I'm-sorrys.
We both thought you could make me a better human.
I thought your tears could wash the monster off of me.