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please, I dare you
and I will look you in the face
and bite my tongue so I say nothing
because then later you can't say that I deserved it
be my guest, I want to give you something
pain is only pain.
Daddy, do you remember
when I couldn't fall asleep when I was small
and you would sing me the song
about the elephants on the
Your voice was gruff and quiet but
it always helped anyway because
I felt small and warm and safe
in your arms.
What, those bruises?
I fell off my bike.
Daddy, pain is still just pain but
those words that you shower me with,
I will not write them out,
they are ten thousand purple thumb prints on my wrists
I rather you would push me again
into the wall where my shoulder blades
will kiss the plaster
than hear those names in your voice
Daddy, do you remember eating popsicles on the roof
on the fourth of July,
fireworks crying on our shoulders
while you explained to me that
you had to die before me, not because
you were old but
because you could never stay on earth
if I was gone.
Now, I count the tiles in the bathroom floor and
I notice the rain running in criss-cross veins down the window
and I am jealous;
I wish that I could cry
while I sit here and give attention to everything
except pain because
it is just pain, after all.
When I was young you used to make me mad because
I would go to school with tears still on my cheeks and then
they would ask me what was wrong and then
I would tell
all I would get was whispers behind hands
when they thought I couldn't hear
saying that I was just groping for attention.
But now, my skin is tougher than the peach in the bowl
and I am made of stronger stuff than even you
you just broke my bedroom door,
slamming it into the wall that bruised my back
and the mirror shards are beautiful against the wood
I will get the broom.
The first time you asked me to forgive you,
I felt powerful but then
I had to hug you and I didn't want to
pain is just pain
Daddy, do you remember the Big Foot Dance
where you would hold my hands
and I would step my tiny shoes
on to your big ones
and we would waltz and if I tripped
you would catch me before I hit the ground.
Don't apologize to me,
I'm not the one who's losing the respect
of my only daughter.
I can handle anything you say to me because
I hate you too.
(To the moon and back)
Daddy, I can't sleep,
will you sing me the song
about the elephants on the spiderweb?
I'll paint you a picture and you can tell me
it is beautiful
and even though I know you are just saying that
I do not mind.
Pain is just pain.