Game Over

Game Over

by Tyler Johnson

They say my name like a slur
like one whisper of it
will cause the world around them
to crumble

They whisper it
in hushed tones
unlike the shouts
of which they speak
my birth name

They act like my whole experience
my life is a game
that will soon be over

But I am not playing pretend
I am not stuck in their nameless game unable to escape
doomed to reach end screen
Game Over.

I am a person of my own creation
and I will rise up
my name a title
that I’ve chosen for myself

They say She, Her, Hers
I scream back He, Him, His
Their echoes
those echoes
that match
my own internal words
of doubt
ring out…
but I am louder
and I am not alone

My friends join me
their voices mixing with mine
we say He, His, Him
They say nothing

My name
is a title
of my own choosing
and no longer
will I allow them
to taint it with their pained words
and hushed tones

This is not my Game Over.