• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 02

return policy: shame

the untangling was slow.

disengaging from our dynasty, and the pain
we so often reproduce,
even when you swear you've changed, i took

ten thousand hours
remembering, regretting,
at my dimmest points, blaming you
for your shortcomings; resentment shaped like
a rubik's pyramid.

how dare you make mistakes
raising me at 22
little plot-holes,

didn't you know gender was a construct,
that i could play with barbies and not be broken?
that i could sing my nursery rhymes to you
and have applause instead of disapproving eyes.

"those are for girls, son."

you caught me dancing on the bed,
watching sailor moon with the hoodie of a jumper
on my head, flaunting it like hair.
i scrambled a lousy excuse.


return policy: shame

you said "that better be right" and left me
in the room, to take in the dump of shame
you had left behind.

it's a funny thing, forever feeling
looping those little earthquakes
frozen in time for me, but nothing to you now,

nothing but a weapon you feel i'm wielding
to embarrass you, or shame you.

the truth is,

if you're lucky enough to grow up,
you remember the kid you were
and wish to defend him
with the the words you didn't have then,
expressing the anger you didn't know you felt then,

call them out, give back
the dump of shame. instruct them
to flush it. for you have mercy, and you forgive them,
but the act of flushing needs to be theirs.

something needs to be theirs.