I FORGAVE

BY HYSTERIA

I was trying on a dress,

Making sure my body looked like

The idea of my body

In the small, unbearable mirror.

In an instant our sights met;

A man, lurking in the shadows,

Owning my form.

That was the first time.

Later I would learn to identify,

Sometimes in a passing

demonstration of wit,

Sometimes in a violent expression

Of fear:

Men, lurking in the shadows,

Owning my form.

Though I bore an alienating shield

Of ostent rebellion, spurred by anxiety,

My heavy heart still felt the burden.

I rejected weakness, repulsed tenderness,

For I had seen what was

Lurking behind the romanticism,

Hidden, in the shadows,

Eager to own my form.

Mea culpa.

By whatever means,

The insatiable longing for affection

Demanded to be felt.

From the corner of my eye I saw

Inside the mouth of the smiling Wolf,

Whose coldness I perceived

As the naked soul

Also longing.

Mea maxima culpa.

I found not a soul,

But the way for my heavy heart

To finally give up and burst.

From the corner of my eye I saw

A faint memory of a touch.

Before I realized,

My heart, now light,

Had found its way back to my chest.