I am unbridled and raw somewhere under my skins.
So many masks fashioned in requisite moments when lovelessness came with the threat of death,
because no one can survive alone, and even hermits have the creatures and the trees.
Underneath my skins, I am untempered and wild.
I can draw out your fears for feeding and try your nerves for dessert.
I can back you into a corner until you lash out and hurt me
to remind me I am alive, with you, on the edge of oblivion, on the other side of tame complacency, the slow poison of the times.
Others crave the nectar of my agonies so that they may be spared a hard lesson or a hundred.
But I found a sheath to soothe my naked wounds.
I am measured now when I drip with the elixir because people are more at peace when they are teased out of their shells.
And I’m tired of not being dammed because it always makes a mess.
I’m not feeling less, only reeling a little quieter, sending my tears away to the Master of Maturity for their lack of obedience.
The Innocence Eater uses a fork and a knife instead of his hands and teeth to tear apart the meat of my heart.
I grow scars there, where my love once lived to be taken.
Now there is iron instead of blood and honey, and you need a key for the gates if you want to find out if there is anything left.
But I forgot to make one before I was caged.
Some say it is better this way because most prefer a mystery to the startling truth.
And some things are better left unsaid, invisible, retreating behind the guards who know only my name, for the days when I return fully to myself.
For only I can hold the weight of Ten Billion rivers of grief and wonder, desire and pain, and everything else.
Only I can keep my secrets safe.
Copyright © 2022, S.Naify
I wrote this at the beginning of the month, contemplating the emotional container I have built for myself after a great deal of work on it over a span of years. The insight was given to me when sharing this piece with a loved one that this is a sign of maturity.