Naked in an Overdressed World

I’m working on a new poem but I’m not quite sure where I stand on it. It’s a bit of a battle between my many selves. Thanks for reading.

Of course I am self-conscious.

I have self-respect. I just don’t.

I own an awareness, a conscience.

I am quite aware of the disappointment.

Do not think I cannot feel your cringe.

I am more than I thought I would be

and more than you thought I would be

Yet not, no, never enough

To be what we thought I should be.

I wear myself all over my skin

And under it, inside the belly

That held sacred things,

Sometimes secret,

and each a stark reminder

of our differences.

Raised with great expectations

Such a deep well of words

And the tallest of dreams

For the smallest of shoulders

A wildflower with seeds to sow

A Thursday’s child,

With so far to go.

You are not in my face,

Nor my heart, nor my blood

But in my soul, where you stain

And my ear, with every single

Pavlovian response I cannot deny.

Be seen, and not heard, and not

Caught in a laugh or a whisper

Or a second plate or a little dance

For no reason.

Because everything has a reason

And a place and a rule and a law.

‘Be wild’ they tell me,

Dressed in my best with the biggest holes.

I made them myself while I earned

Street cred, with my careful aim

And my scissors and safety pins.

Be as you as you can be

until you don’t remember who you were.

I will pose in every picture,

take in every scene

and wear them on my sleeve

Until I find a face I fit in,

that feels like mine.

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