My First Slam Poem

I had to write and perform this for my AP Comp class, and I feel that it reflects who I am at this point as a result of my personal experiences thus far; tell me what you think.


Hi, my name is Faith.
I am a 4.0 student
I went home today, and my mother asked me
how school was.
Hi, my name is Faith
I got two hours of sleep last night and every night before that doing school work.
I woke up and my father told me how proud he was of my grades.
Hi, my name is Faith.
After school today, I studied so hard and long
I forgot to eat dinner and I almost forgot to sleep.
Hi, my name is Faith
I didn’t turn in an assignment online on time,
So my teacher emailed my mother.
My mother called me up and told me,
“Am I supposed to tell them that my daughter is a fuck up?!”
Hi, My name is 4.0
My name is 4.0
and I went to class today and I answered every question asked, correctly!
But the other students clicked their teeth at me and rolled their eyes
“It must be so easy being her,” they whispered
Hi, my name is 4.0
Most days I want to curl up into a ball on my bed and not move,
or think, or even breathe
Some days, I do just that,
listening to my mother tell me I should be doing work, unmoving
Hi, my name is 4.0
All of my time spent isolated behind a stack of papers leaves me socially inept
Leaves me struggling to meet the social expectations of my peers and other adults

It leaves me vulnerable in social situations, where sometimes it just too loud, I can hear the hoard of people laughing and talking thundering in my ears and person after person brushes my shoulder or touches my hand and I can feel the weight of their touches crushing me and the thunder and I CAN’T BREATHE!
Hi, my name is 4.0
I experienced an immense emotional trauma
that I don’t understand how to deal with
Sometimes certain things trigger the memory of my paralyzing fear holding me in place, and the smell and, hands, AND-
So I do the only thing I know how to do
I work
Hi, my name is 4.0
Sometimes, I get this tight feeling of anxiousness in my stomach
that makes me want to scream
And the only way to get rid of it is if I tap my finger in threes (one two three, one two three, one two three) or walk to the count of threes (one two three, one two three, one two three) [demonstrate]
I told my mother and she brushed me off, and asked me how my grades were
Hi, my name is 4.0
I am not a human with feelings and insecurities
I am nothing but a number for my parents to show off
I am a brain with a constant thirst for validation
With no other real motivation
Than to get a pat on the back
As I try desperately to keep my head above water
With the voice in my head tempting me to just let myself drown


MotionallyPerpetual – Faith Tillman TM


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