The truth is, I fear
(that I threw away the keys,
that my heart is locked,
guarded by invisible prisoners,
that you need more than a knife,
to hack away thick thorns of judgment,
that a patronizing stare leaves me emptier,
more full of cold doubt than ever before.
that I stand an old vestige of pride,
a wilted reminder of some gilded age,
now marked by scarlet letters that imprint
behind my eyelids so that even in Sleep,
wrapped by mellow, star-studded blankets,
swimming ’neath shallow childhood memories,
the monster lurks in the closet upstairs and
nothing is safe.
that I am not as shiny as my jeweled hairclips,
that, stripped of cherry lips and puckered smiles,
there isn’t a person under armor, just fear –
of losing a game I’ve gambled too much to play,
of free-falling while running,
’til my feet can’t catch the ground
and I am lost again.)
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.