I beat myself up, to beat him to the blow.
Setting expectations low.
I feel myself seething.
How many questions can you ask
in these timed trials, tribulations
Even when you don’t care
Devoted followers. But what if the person who is supposed to oversee, sees only what they want to see –
Rising to the top
when you were at odds to begin with,
but not in your favour;
despite ticking all the boxes:
Voiceless? Victim? No.
‘She could not do more.’
‘She could do no more.’
‘She could not do it.’ (he surmised, deciding). Point one of three, fingers at me.
Even you know this. Can you bear this with patience?
Can you wait it out, without outing yourself?
Absenting yourself from this running
In a box I’d beat this,
beat all the odds –
even myself. Boxed in.
Rings around these rose coloured glasses. Outmatched. Revealed.
Putting makeup on bruises I thought had long since healed.
But there are voices, opponents, I can’t dance around, skirting the issue-
the questions I feel swimming up my thighs,
into the tastefully unmentioned areas of gender and sex;
I am the problem-
the problem, child.
Sorting out yours,
and raising them.
Hell, I’ve raised myself
in a system that didn’t know I existed
until I screamed present
demanding a seat at the table,
raised at one where I was always taught that it was okay to ask for more.
You don’t appreciate this. You twist
making pleasant plans into present pains;
I don’t know which ghost I’m dancing with;
my own anger
at past fences
unmended; or a host of unanswered doubts,
and sign posts upended.
I wave goodbye to myself, when you walk by.
Reaching to connect, shut out, chin lifted. Struggling, sweating to make meaning and to hear myself move. Gifted –
but I have an audience of none. Audience of one. If only. Wanting to be seen.
You buy no tickets. You shut it down slow. You are a closed house. Lights out. The disempowerment show.
I got my own box
to hoist myself up –
to see over that equity fence;
in my glasses, teeth set with purpose and intent, on
your house, transparent
so close to breaking
so many times. So many times –
I’m tougher than I look
but not that tough.
I break sometimes
and you see weakness,
but I’m brave just to be here
knocking at your door,
still looking for your approval
even though I’m sick with wanting
sick that I feel like this,
needing a word,
when mine are the ones that ring loudest, in my head,
calling you out,
like I can’t in real time
because shattered glass
makes for dangerous learning
and this is your house.