“Aloud”

~Esther Mitchell, 2000~

 

I do not speak your name aloud,

Though it lays sweet on every breath,

Touches my tongue with every movement,

Yearning to set you free.

 

Still, I cannot speak your name aloud,

Though I remain apostate to their rule,

Forever altered by open  heart and eyes,

Seeing the trap within their narrow views.

 

I have not heard your name,

In enough years my heart cracks,

Shatters in stained glass shards,

A temple they’ve torn apart.

 

They wouldn’t understand,

Your name upon my lips,

They stripped me of my mind,

Laid waste to my heart, my soul,

And they would never have forgiven you,

For loving me enough to make me whole.

 

They took my identity from me,

Shoved me in a cage,

Took away my dignity,

Silenced my voice,

And told me I could not know me best,

Because they couldn’t see past my age.

 

You gave me wings,

You set me free,

Had they known,

They would have punished you,

For daring to believe in me.

 

So, in all these years,

Your name has not left my tongue,

Until the voice with which I speak,

Has become an unwelcome stranger to myself.

 

I hate my body, without your touch,

I hate my heart, without your love,

I hate my mind, without your smile,

But most of all,

I hate my soul, because without you here,

It might as well be gone.

 

I do not speak your name aloud,

Though it leaks out in every tear,

It rips from me in every sob,

And writes itself in the resulting fog.

 

Yet in the stillness of my broken heart,

The quiet, soft places left of my shattered soul,

Your name echoes like pealing bells,

And it is there I still find my home.

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