I have nothing delicate to say
if you knew
what it meant for me to say, "I love you"
what it meant for me to say, "thank you"
what it meant for me to say, "I'm sorry"
You would understand.
You would understand the scars on my ears from hearing
"That's not ladylike" or - "You wear us out"
from listening to the subtle scratching of
fingernails inside the brick walls of my mind
the metal jail bars whining against the weight of
monsters who don't hide under my bed
but under my eyelids.
The lacerations in my eyes-
from seeing things I wish I could forget
-they follow me into my dreams and pry my eyes open
when I try to sink into the blissful abyss of ignorant sleep
You would accept the cuts on my hands from being pushed to the
ground underneath the trampling feet of people asking me,
"What are you?" as if I could be anything but a human
assuming that I speak the Latin language of the sunny country to the South
of this red white and blue island -simply because of the way my skin is
the color of sun-kissed caramel.
You would celebrate the fresh markes of
fistblows to my heart that pumps blood feebly -as if out of habit
were they from someone else - or are those my handprints
-and I just forgot what they felt like?
You would know who I am in my bones,
but you don't, so let me tell you:
Let me be clear: I am.
I don't apologize for this. I am not made of ice - but metal
I can be bent and broken, burn white hot in the heat
My body is an iron sword, a steel helmet, brass chain mail, titanium shield
-this metal - this scrap metal mayhem
coaxed and heated by my fire,
the warmth of love and scorching desires
I am car alarms at 3AM
Forgotten keys - missed deadlines
I am the way the light of my computer screen reflects in my irises
at the stoke of midnight
-the taste of blood in my mouth from biting my tongue off
before I screamed - or worse - cried.
-how I walk with my keys
poking out from my sweaty knuckles in dark parking lots
-how I pull my skirt down under the scorching leer of his eyes
-the click of
Replay on YouTube
Next episode on Netflix
I am not only human - I am every flaw in that word -and every triumph.
This is not my armor - it is me - and I claim it.
It is beautiful - I have earned every inch, every kink,
every sewn together, quilted patchwork of stories
they are of my own skin
They are the product of my dreams, and my failures
I am this metal - I can be broken
but I can always be remade.