In Writing

You make me want to put it down.
The weight of this defense is tremendous,
Wrought of the need to survive.
To not let you see how breakable I am
How broken I’ve been
By your words and your leavings.

You make me want to spill it all,
Tell the truth,
Stop holding things behind this thick chain mail.
But to give is to lose
To turn over ammunition which you’ve aimed at me before,
And maps to where the defenses are weaker than they appear.

You make me want to hug unbound sky,
And laugh loud, in a shout,
And grab your hand and run,
But I see you planted in earth
You don’t know how to dig yourself out of.
Or don’t want to, most likely, the most painful lance of all.

So I don’t hug, don’t run, don’t speak above a whisper
And I hope this thunder will pass me by.
As I shiver and hide.

You can’t see how naked I am
Underneath all this armor.
How one word pierces me through
And one silence bleeds me out.

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Maplewood South Orange Book Festival 2021