John Tench

Pre-college / CAPE (2021 - 2023)

John enjoys reading, writing prose and poetry, watching TV shows, movies on Netflix and sleeping. He aspires to be an attorney by profession and Writer by hobby. One thing about John no one knows is that he can sew. John entered this competition because of his love for poetry and this slam provided him with an opportunity to express that passion and learn from others.

What Poetry means to Me... “I’ve always said that poetry is the manifestation of what we dare not speak. Poetry is emotional and dramatic and shows the most vulnerable parts of ourselves”.

john tench

Real Pain by John Tench

It was supposed to be a run-of-the-mill Saturday night:
Netflix + comfort + the breeze of my fan = heaven.
A rush drives my fingers as I sign in,
Only to be rejected with "Incorrect Password"
A churning in my stomach: a truth too hard to swallow.
No, you couldn't do something like this
You're my brother. No, no!
But things change, and people lie.
Even now I lie to myself by thinking he's better than this.
The run-of-the-mill turns malignant
Ruining my Saturday night.

That breeze of my fan sends chills down my spine.
“He's better than this”, I whisper my tongue blisters
At this beautiful lie.
My ears pulse like creole drums strapped tightly and beaten with vengeful force.
Maybe once more could work. I try the keys;
see if maybe they’d open a door for me.
Because you wouldn’t do that.
You’re a brother, no!

I should have noticed it sooner
The signs were there. He stole our todays and tomorrows.
We shared her at first, my sweet netflix;
Then you whispered sweet nothings to her;
Your trademark seductive sweetness.

She would tell you about new shows that week
Or a new season here and there-
And then the silent transplant of her love to your phone.
Last week, I was almost shut out entirely.
“Four screen limit” She reproached me like a scorned lover.
“But enjoy your downloads”, she reassured;
The kind of reassurance that goes
“He’s just a friend” or “you’re jealous”.

But today she spurns me “Incorrect password.”
Not once, but thrice. Called her, no answer.
Called him, he insists he knows nothing.
There is no reassurance now.
What’s done is done.
My keys no longer work for me,
But his work for him. He’s won.
And this ménage à trois is two.

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