The Sunflower Boy

I’ve only cried for a boy once
And maybe that’s a lie
For I’ve cried for many boys
But this boy didn’t need me to cry for him
Because his tear jar was all filled up

So we started another
And it was labeled in a blue sharpie pen,
But instead of tears we used money
And we filled this jar up
Until it turned into what we called it,

It was his first set
Gold brushes
For touch ups
And the brightest highlighter I’ve ever seen

“Oh honey that is not your colour”

If we had only known it would end up in the gutter

But we didn’t and with a little bit of practice
he got better

The best makeup artist I knew and he started to wear it out like there was no problem with it

There is no problem with it

Except there was
Because in this society
Femininity is not to be tolerated
Especially in a boy who was sprouting in a world where masculinity means to dominate

Bullied at school
They were so focused on the wrapping they didn’t even open the gift
Too feminine
Too delicate
Not enough of a masculine malevolent to qualify as a specimen

He wore his gift wrapper as an expression

Except being kept inside a labeled box for so long
Was suffocating
And compressing into a life long depression

It became an obsession

“Do I look gay in this sweater?”

“Can you see my makeup in this weather?”

“Is my voice too high?”

“Can you tell that I’ve cried?”

“Do you think it’ll be better to just tell my mom I’m bi?”

So lost in a society that turned his identity into an enemy
So don’t you tell me he killed himself because he was already dead when they called him a faggot

He was already dead when you threatened that you would throw him in the garbage

He was already dead when he had to wipe off his makeup before going home

Because his home was only a place where he was comfortable to go and hurt himself

When they showed me the body
I thought there was red lipstick on his wrist
Little swatches of blush on his fingertips
I looked a little closer
Paid a little more attention
It was blood brighter than pigment
What I mistook to be beauty was not supposed to be on the outside
My god, why was it on the outside?

When all this time he was trying to show you who he was
And this was the final straw.

I wish my tears could bring back
My sunset boy
Who still had a few hours of daylight

But now it’s us who are left in the light
To see another day
To laugh another laugh
And he is not here to laugh among us

I’ve never cried for a boy
And that’s definitely a lie
But I’m done crying
And his jar of life will forever be empty
With all the air that was supposed to be swimming in his lungs right now

For he is another child sacrificed so they can have another headline
And another hashtag
Another forgotten gay kid who killed himself

No cosmetics can cover up that ugly truth
That he’ll always just be another number
Another equation without a solution

Though the solution is just as simple as acceptance and restitution

A priceless currency that is more affordable than a patriarchy

More affordable than a jar full of tears –

His name was so beautiful
They probably didn’t even put in the papers,

To them he was just another boy that I’ve cried for


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