Call me names and shout it with rage. Let the angry animal climb out of your throat, its thin fingers pry open your mouth and its scream can pierce into the souls of those around. Push me to the ground and your tongue slips out and whispers an ultimatum into my ear.
I will not rage against your venomous accusations and yet I won’t deny. Instead I will sit and absorb every verbal strike because I know you will never understand. Leave my skin cut open and bare with each angry slice. Push me into a corner and I will not try and leave. I will stand with my hands open with the palms catching your tears. I’ll sigh and allow my tranquil breath to fill the room, bow my head and pray for you.
Go ahead a call me a fool.
I won’t sew your mouth close. You can call me heartless but I will cleft my chest to show you a pulsing, bruised, lacerated and aching like hell heart…..but it is still alive. Look at my scars and burns. I will show you my neck where I was foolish enough to trust a knife against my throat.
You think I am broken.
I will not deny the destruction I left behind and allow your insults. Let me lift my shirt and show you where I applied pressure to the bleeding. I will show you the homemade stitches that will depict the places where circumstances and reality were too cruel to me. I will show you the knife-wounds in my back left by someone repeatedly. My spine was weakened a long time ago by the cruelty of another.
I can still see in my minds eye the lanky, dark image of the one who pushed me into the flame. The places where it licked my flesh bare some may call hideous but I can see its grotesque beauty. Let’s add up the places where the scars have puckered and crossed. I will even let you touch where my knees have been rubbed raw and my heart has been scrubbed with barbed wire.
If you could ever rise above the hate for a moment, I will show you every mistake I have made. I will take your hand and let you feel my faults branded upon my chest. Show you the places I’ve slipped and it left behind blemishes. I will walk you slowly through each memory, but you cannot turn away or wince because you have thrown them into full, uncompromising light then abandoned me. Left me to fend for myself.
After all that, I will sit quietly as you call me names, say I am foolish and tell me I am broken.
I will not bow my head in shame.
I will know what I really am.