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too many lies have swollen my tongue, my back too burdened for someone so young yet still baring my teeth because that comes more naturally than honesty.

my body went from a holy temple to an empty vessel to the forbidden dungeon where darkness rules and secrets are bludgeoned, but those that survive continue to thrive in cramped little cages as they wait patiently for their moment of glory

what began as petty insults and pokes that left bruises grew bigger eventually into jabs at insecurities; secrets went from classroom gossip to the skeletons in our parents’ closets, and my expression at all times becomes the margin of relativity where the slightest sign of being weak is mocked as if we’re all playing a cosmic game of Mercy –

I don’t remember when I learned to hide all the ugly but for a few years it was almost too easy to smile instead of share to laugh and not care to oversimplify a human experience for others’ convenience, to keep running to the end without pausing to heal instead

until I ran so fast that life sped up to compete and you died too soon so the air thickened and I began to tumble scraping my hands & knees opening up all my old wounds; for the very first time allowing them to bleed openly in the form of the poetry you read.

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