Article If you knew my story: Youth Speaks Based in the Mission District, Youth Speaks has been championing the Bay Area’s young writers for more than twenty years. We asked their poets to respond to the opening song of BRIGHT STAR, “If You Knew My Story”—to start with that line and tell their own stories from there. We’re proud to share two original poems with you here. Leticia Guzman If you knew my story You would hold it close Try to write an ending You would try to wipe the smudges off Notice the ink leaking like eyeliner Like the roof Like my heart Like all I know how to do is leak, too afraid to flood so drown myself in cliché water metaphors If you knew my story You would help me float Try to save me You would try to understand my obsession with drowning Maybe this is how to Block out the sad girl who writes in blue Block out the sad girl Block out the sad Block Like stitches Like surviving Like all I really do is survive If you knew my story you would call me survivor Born spilling insides like emotions Sad girl wears a crop top now Smiles Becomes just girl You would try to say scars are beautiful Maybe confidence is just convincing And loving And flowing And something taught to hold Held close To be able to write an ending Learn to read through the smudges and leaks Not all stories survive floods If you knew my story, you could survive the flood. Samuel Getachew and Leticia Guzman Samuel Getachew If you knew my story You would wonder how I managed to fit so many laughs tears sunsets poems into just fifteen years. You would not know where to start would not know if you were finished would not be able to draw the lines between chapters or sections or volumes, would not be able to tell the difference between biographies and obituaries. They have all blurred into one. You would not think to fear this black child because you would know That he is just learning not to fear himself. You would not know where one part of me ends and the next begins. But you would not mind. Because you would know that I am just learning that myself. If you knew my story, You would gaze at all that I have seen in awe wonder how one child could see so much pain and so much joy and so much humanity and still love a world that spends every minute of every day trying to purge itself of him. Or perhaps you would recognize it. Greet it like an old friend Because you have seen my story before. Join us for Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's BRIGHT STAR, November 28-December 17 at the Curran.