Poetry

Skin deep

I have seen

your self-inflicted shackles, each bead endowed with the power

to restrict a part of your personality

so that the true you can never break free.

Worn for so long that they’ve merged with your skin

and faded so only those with a trained eye

can see them for what they are.

 

I couldn’t see them,

but over time you allowed me to notice.

Over time, you let slip what they really are.

And since that moment of understanding,

I’ve wanted nothing more than to ease them off you,

not forcefully –

I don’t want to break the skin and wound you

like those before have,

without thought, without purpose

other than a few laughs

that I know still cut through you

even though they are nothing,

and you are everything.

 

I want you to emerge fully

to stand by my side,

to always be here to hold on

to the light, to never feel the need

to bury yourself once more.