staying silent

keeping all the words

b

o

t

t

l

e

d

inside

corked tight

was supposed to keep

the hurt away–

from you, and everyone else.

me–I’m a bit

of a hopeless case,

whatever.

but the blank page, empty screen

was supposed to keep everything

contained

help me get good

at ignoring.

but perhaps that’s not

the most honest

truth–

I felt my words were worthless.

and my words are an extension of me.

and then I felt my words

were too powerful–

not powerful enough to convince, explain, reveal–

but powerful enough to hurt whom I love

most.

in the end–

I.

am just.

afraid.

afraid I am not enough.

afraid I am too much.

afraid you won’t read this.

afraid you’ll do nothing.

afraid I mean nothing.

and so I held my breath.

but in the end, I fear–

I want to breathe.

and so I must speak my existence into the world

even if you do not affirm it.

yes, it is for you I write–

but it is also

for me.