The Ballpen (Poem)

The ballpen has an outer shell of transparent hard plastic and inside is the black ink encased in what looks like a plastic straw. All you need to do is grip the ballpen, feel the ridges that surround it like stacked circles, and move it to release the ink. Ink–that which is supposed to be flowing liquid, but once it spills on the paper,it solidifies itself into lines and dots, and because of the brain and the systems of signs that humans have developed through time, these etches are intelligible, knowable, perceivable. These etches are the documentations of truth.

The ballpen transforms fleeting thoughts and unwitnessed emotions from time-bound ephemeral blimps into concrete curves that mean specific things, etched out on white paper. It turns the did she really say that, did she really see that, did she really do that, into evidence with an exact date and time. Verbatim. Word per word. There is justice in a ballpen when there are too many voices that want to drown out your own. There is disturbing philosophy in a ballpen when people don’t want to change, and, most importantly, don’t want to be disturbed.

I assert who I am through this ballpen. No longer silenced. No longer afraid. No longer ashamed. You don’t get to tell me who I am. I tell you who I am.

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