Kneeling

Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes,
feelings were expected to kneel to thought
as women were expected to kneel to men.

Audre Lorde
In “Poetry is not a luxury”

Years
of swallowing
that
I am
just too much.

Tried for too long to be less than I am.

Obviously
White picket fences.
Ivory towers.
Have no place for
what actually drives me.
But how did I wander so far?

Be of service.
Be useful.
Take care.

You can ask for what you need.
As long as you don’t need
anything more.

Be polite.
Be gentle.
Be happy.

My greatest strength sacrificed
on the altar of
someone else’s comfort.
And I called it
“love.”

Now questioning
every longing
that may be too much
for someone.

The battle lines
drawn
inside of me.

But I don’t want this war
ever again.

©2016 Chris Paige. All rights reserved.

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