Considering Word Choice

"I don't hurt people"

is such an




Maybe you don't set fire to houses,

or burn down forests,

But that doesn't mean you've never ignited me with jealousy, 

scorched my feelings with thoughtless words,

blackened my heart with selfish actions. 


Maybe you've never held a gun to someone's head, 

But oftentimes it can feel as though you've got a gun against my throat, 

muffling my words as I hold them back to save our forming friendship,

sear my mouth into a lip-tight smile,

nodding along to the painful details you share,

spitting half-truths while avoiding the way you shoot your wide-eyed gaze at me.


Maybe you've never taken a knife to someone's flesh, 

But it certainly felt as though you'd stabbed me suddenly on that night 

--------- you know which one. 


Pain isn't always obvious. 

Pain isn't always mascara-stained tear tracks racing down my face.

Pain isn't always broken sobs and ill-concealed glares.

It can be bandaged cuts that bled for almost-too-long, 

passed off as battle scars from a playful kitten. 

It can be faded bruises under layers of clothes ----

and my breath hitches every time you brush up against them. 


Hide a wince.

Blink back tears.

It's not important.


Pain isn't always intentional.

(It can be. It is sometimes.)

But that doesn't make it hurt any less. 


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