Skin Deep

I have done things that made me worthy of the worst kind of poem,
caused the kind of pain that offers broken glass
to the breaking bone
I have worn masks
that obscured my heart from view
taken things that weren’t mine,
perpetuated belief in things I knew to be untrue
I have fought dirty, come out unclean,
and still had the audacity to plead at pearly gates
Skin Deep, I’ve been the kind of terrible
that doesn’t let enough of you survive
to feel the hate

I do not forget this. I endeavor to carry this weight.

Yes, if you put me on paper
print me out in straight lines
polish me like a résumé
scented, translucent, medium gloss
it’s easy to point to every


and to let
anything more
be lost

The monster who is told
he is a monster
is stripped of his only hope
The monster who is told
he is a monster
is stripped of his hope
and monsters aren’t we all

To the broken, every subtle pain caused is gently catalogued:
”Here is Every Way I Have Ever Tried to Ease the Pain, and Failed”
”Here is a List of Every Day I Couldn’t Believe Who I Was Was Okay”
”Here are the Names of All the People I Brought Down With Me Along the Way”
these things stay
these things

Somehow, there are those
who look at broken eyes and see glory
Those who are not mislead by the deed
There are those who get onto a knee,
who take a hand,
who tell a monster,
”You are allowed to be.”

Some people are afraid of the dark
some of failure
some of loss
some of monsters
some people
are afraid
of me
and I can’t blame them for what they see
when they’re only willing to look once
only willing to see
Skin Deep


February 8th, 2016
Ashley Wylde

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