Boys Don't Cry

Emotions numb,
Rage intensified by the fear to emote.
Here it comes,
The pressure building that I try to hold.

Daddy said boys don’t cry,
Men conceal, they hide.
Strong body, an architectural physique.
Designed to hold it in.

The inferno takes over,
Engulfing me in light.
The lingering sparks shimmer.
I fill the night.

© Darius Buckley

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a piece that I knew would eventually come out of me. I was never the football playing, chick magnet I’m sure my brothers thought I would be when were young. They tried to teach me how to fight, I just lightly tapped them. We laugh about it today but being “manly”, whatever that means, was the expectation of us. Especially as men but men of color, we were expected to live up to a certain standard of masculinity. I’ve never understood why but that’s how it is. Girl on your arm, and abs on your chest. I was called “faggot”, “sissy”, all the slurs by my classmates in middle school. Especially in gym. It’s a battle that I still fight today as an adult. My hips sway a little more, and I don’t mind a manicure. I’m touched as some might say. I say gifted because I’ve seen nothing but blessings for who I am. Confident and taking the world by storm. I can fight back with confidence but many young people are fighting for their lives, fighting to feel, to emote and they’re taught to hold it in. It’s killing my brothers and a change has to happen. This poem was written for my short film “5” that explored the joys and struggles of being a man. This poem was my favorite because it’ simple but powerful. It’s full of pain. It’s all the things young Darius wanted to say but couldn't. I hope some young black boy will read this and finally feel heard and seen. That’s my greatest hope for this piece.

Darius BuckleyComment