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I want to feel love
Like a hug that comforts
Not a drug that quells.

I've been taking lines of love,
the only form I know.
It doesn't penetrate, it just coats
My surfaces.
I'm so hidden, I can't even find myself
Under my approval-seeking mask.

Will the me who tries less
Receive more?
I can't know until I try
To stop trying,
And feel prized for who I am
at my raw material
Not what I do
at my most fearful.

My costume is adored,
Maybe my nakedness would be too,
Even more so in it's realness?
I risk losing my accumulated love stash
In exchange for a single drop of the real thing.

It's the difference between an endless supply of  painkillers numbing my broken feet,
Or putting faith in a cast that heals slow and sure and warm.
And then I may finally walk on my own.

Maybe I won't be so tired all the time,
Not expending all that effort to be worthy,
no belief that my inherint value exists in the sustainable landscape of being.
Maybe I'll finally have the energy
to rest peacefully
In the knowledge that I can be me
when I wake.

It's a leap of faith,
For someone who has grown comfortable
with a hopscotch recipe for success,
Fleeting but with a guaranteed buzz.

I don't want to be a tweeker any longer.
I want to sober up on the real thing.
The pure glass of water that is
genuine affection,
The bedrest of trust,
Puking out my instinct to please
And filling up on the notion that
I, by myself, am enough
For others.
And more importantly,
For me.
Where are my words
When I need to speak out?
Gone is my ability
To articulate, whisper, shout.

Where is my 'no'?
My 'don'ts' , 'can'ts' , won't flow.
And where is my 'yes,
Yes, yes, please, let's go'?

Where is my honesty
Brave kind and true?
Hiding being the fear
That I won't be loved by you.

If I say 'look here
At my scars and stains',
What more will I be thought of
Than a list of my pains?

Shortcomings proving
Ineptitude and reason
That I have no business here
Or there, too unseasoned.

I start to vanish
Behind a false picture
Of who you want to see,
Complete with all fixtures

Of a well-spoken, anxious,
Nail-picking woman-child,
So terrified of yelling,
Always taming her wild.

I love to love fiercely,
Proudly, loudly, undaunted.
But reciprocation is fleeting,
I'll never be that wanted.

These are the words
I keep to myself,
They've gathered inches of dust
On my mind's endless shelf.

Collections and volumes
Professing learned truths,
Lessons unintended
Throughout all my youth.

There's something wrong with me,
Inherent in my veins.
All whom I love will leave
As marks washed away by rain.

Where is my power,
My comfort and ease?
To be enough for myself
Not needing to please.

Where's all my joy
In the blessing of being?
I've spent it on others
To keep them from fleeing.

Where is my love
For the body I'm in?
It's time to explore.
Its time to be more.
Its time to begin.
Deep breath,
glance to the bed,
wonder how tonight
I'll wind up dead.

And if I'll have
a birds-eye view,
or a quick cut to black
before I turn blue?

The natural way?
A shark, a bear?
Or horror familiar,
a deeper despair...

This time will
the others survive?
Or must I watch their fate
before my 6-foot dive?

How many seconds
stirring, confused?
Until I realize
I've again been abused

by imagination morbid,
unbridled and cruel.
I'd rather try flying
than watching blood pool.

Unable to save
myself or others,
can't throw a punch
or hold my brother's

hand as he's pulled
into dark, into black;
just watching as I
sink deeper on my back.

A voice: stolen
two legs: un-moving
enemies: countless
slumber: un-soothing

I'm in for a night
after night after night
I've grown accustomed
to fight the good fight,

and see an army
of Me's at my feet
who've died for the cause
of dreams not sweet.

A glass of water,
a goodnight kiss,
prepared for battle,
in lonely abyss.

Unpleasant as it is
I try to be kind.
In a way, it's my home,
it's all in my mind.
I lived within you, now
your blood is in me, and
we both dwell inside our
living memory, of

birthdays and bath times,
lectures and retorts, more
jaws clenched and accumulated
anger we didn't sort--it

was held in our chest, near
our breast, never said, till
we piled on words, hoping
that bottled-up beast we'd find dead

from the weight of false smiles, and
sorry's not spoken, till
mother and daughter becomes
just a title token.

The tenderness falters,
degrading to tolerance,
of sameness and difference, concealing
eye rolls,     sighs,        a wince.

And I want to be close, I
hear it in your voice, but
the bitter hardened case around
my heart makes a choice

to judge and to quip, to
sneer and humiliate,
you but more myself for
the actions I facilitate.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, that
I do not like you right now,
which has more to do with my faults,
because I don't really know how.

Please forgive and be patient,
know it's always on my mind, for
every time I ignore or anger,
remember I love you, I want to be kind.
I'm screaming in
My chest, my
Breast teeming with
Protest, but no
Sound escapes pressed
Lips, my voice
Isolated itself to
My mind, leaving
Me seething
With anger at
My disability, I
Gift myself with
The handicap of
Politeness, as I
Lay  witness to
My own violation
Without exclamation of

And I'll go home
With the blame,
Carrying his shame
Like a scarlet
Letter, it looks
Better on me, see,
I'm a woman, and
Isn't it fitting I
Am simply a man
With the added burden
Of woe, a small
Prefix to separate
Me from my
Genital counterpart.

I'd rather protect
Your comfort than gather
The audacity to
End your hand
Placed on my end,
Down my back
Finding the crack
Between my ***
With prying fingers,
Figures you're
30 years older
Than me, you need
To give young folks
The history that will
Grow us into defeated
Women, glow fading
With our power, if
It weren't for you, why,
We wouldn't know
We're objects for
Your pleasure,  the
Treasure you give,
An education
In humiliation, leading
To a conveniently
Degraded population
Of muted women
Just waiting for this
To happen, and then
Accusing our own
Existence of pretense.
We clearly deserve

Nothing more than a
Free dinner, don't be
A *****, put out!
With your mouth, don't
Be put out with your
Voice, your choice is
Important here,
To be clear, I
Might steer you in
The direction of
Submission, it's
Easier that way.

I hear you call
Me beautiful, like
It's open sesame
To my *****, and
When I don't grant
The access I'm
Simply a broken door,
A ***** to  your
Interest of getting
Off, you scoff because
How dare I lead you
On by existing,
Presuming to sit
There and be a "she"
Don't I know how
Much I look like I
Want it?, the touch,
The attention, a spoiled
'you can't flat
Out reject me, I'll
Collect my due from
You some other way,
Say, I'll devalue
Your worth, describing
In detail your fault
And failure to be
open-legged to me'

How can I love
This skin I'm in?
When I'm taught it
Doesn't belong to me,
But to a sea of eyes
who despise my voice when
It voices 'NO'.
How cruel for
time to make her
slip away, further
and further out
of view, but
never from
my memory.

My mind's eye
holds her fast,  though
I can't see her
The creature inside me
Rears its head

Grabbing hold of my
Veins and arteries
With strong grips
Shaking, tightening

Wringing out my stomach
To 3 sizes smaller
Throttling my neck,
Bouncing on my lungs

Swirling and whisking
my brain to hurricane

And letting the blood,  bile,
And lack of oxygen drizzle
Slowly to marinate my heart
In injury
And confusion and
And sabotage.
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