Magazine · Poetry

Albatross by RJ Walker

*For anybody else that has been bullied or abused and considered violence

OK, so
Albatross is
perched
outside my window
At all times.
He has a voice like a schoolboy
Stop Hitting Yourself
Stop Hitting Yourself
Stop Hitting Yourself

He has a voice like a father.
Stand Up For Yourself
Stand Up For Yourself
Stand Up For Yourself

He has a voice like an older brother.
Fight Back
Fight Back
Fight back

My god, he is a republican.
Stop Being A Victim
Stop Being A Victim
Stop Being A Victim

You’ll stop getting bullied
when you
stand up for yourself
fight back
stop being a victim
stop hitting yourself
stop hitting yourself

“Ok… Ok…”
I tell Albatross
“Here. I want you to have this.”
And I shoot him through his goddamn guts
with a crossbow made of my fists.

I grab Albatross by the heart
and punch him
until he resembles a mass of dirty red shirts.
Until he resembles a bloody mess
Until he resembles me
and all the corpse he has made out of me.

             Not like that!
Squawks Dead Albatross
             Not like that!

Oh, but Albatross.
I have stopped hitting myself
and I have started hitting you.

Oh, but Albatross
I am standing up for myself
on top of your neck.

Oh, but Albatross
I am fighting back
see all this blood?
it ain’t mine this time!

           But you’re still a victim
Says Dead Albatross

Oh, but Albatross,
So are you, now.
So you will be always.
And now hell is a place for both of us.

You have loved making a monster
out of me, Albatross.
And so you have earned my teeth.
You sharpened them yourself, Albatross.

When the world finds me
I will have 2 broken hands.
I will be covered in bloody feathers.
They will see the dead Albatross
and despair
“what have you done?
Why have you killed
such a beautiful bird?
Only a monster would do such a thing.”

And they are right.

And they will crucify Dead Albatross
to my collarbone and shoulders.
I carry Albatross everywhere I go
A tattoo of a dead friend.
Heavy as the ocean
And all the things it has swallowed.
Albatross has become part of myself now
and I can’t stop hitting myself.

 

 

RJ Walker is a spoken word artist from Salt Lake City. He is the host of SLC’s longest running open mic event at The Greenhouse Effect and operates Salt City Slam. His work has been featured on Button Poetry, Write About Now, and Voicemail Poems. He lives a half-life, a cursed life, a good life with three cats.

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