So known but so misunderstood-
Were I a psychologist,
perhaps what moves within me
would have explanation on top of its name.

I did not ask for pain, and yet, in harming me
you’ve asked me for
a defense of myself
and of those to whom I belong.
I did not ask for such
an opportunity. I

wonder what I did wrong
and wonder why I wonder this,
for what did I do wrong?

Why my shame?
What guilt have I?

For I was disrespected, my psychologist says-
shame is not guilt is not shame is not guilt is not-

I did not think I was thought of as
an object yesterday. I

was suddenly thrust to the tail end of a history-
Your action; My past.

And now I’m in this dirty rag,
trying to get it off myself, trying to give
a defense of those to whom I belong.
“It’s not cool to tell you that you have done wrong,”

so I felt first ashamed, then angry, then tired,
wrapped in this rag where it’s hard to respire,

but I’m going to rip a hole for my mouth
to tell you- not to cleanse myself-
that this is not okay with me,
that it is not to be understood
that I will just put up with what
you think aren’t worth-the-trouble

Our relationship should be a safe place
for me and not
your selfish greed.

The only secret between us will be
your intention, not
my toleration.

I’ll resist the urge to turn my wardrobe
to my own backwards

My head you cloaked
I will hold up high,
look you in the eye,
smile my beautiful smile,

not asking you for anything

but respect.

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