I am just so accustomed to thinking no one is going to approach my body with kindness. ~ Roxane Gay
I push the air in front of me as I walk and hope it cushions,
so that I pass unnoticed through the crowd,
and the scraping feeling across my neck lifts
away leaving only the tingle,
like the shudder from a lemon slice,
still tacked lightly to my nape,
ready to burst out in full force if attention heats it back to clutching point.
I move with dull and dogged steps
feeling like a volcano,
towered violence waiting to break free,
but it’s not lava that I spill,
silent and dumb tears.
Words can’t hurt you
should be rephrased as
words can’t hurt you where it shows…
In a world that bows to the uniform,
those wounds cannot be allowed to surface,
to throw the pattern off,
to jangle the color scheme,
to skew the line.
A closed door and a slumping shoulder
are the only signals that I,
the reluctant and battered contender,
Letting the air move freely,
to surround me,
in such gratitude for a crumb of respite.
As the obstacle course resets itself
for the walk tomorrow.