Apology Epoch

I’ve found myself apologizing to people a lot lately.

I’m not certain if it’s because I’ve been more offensive
Or I’ve just noticed my actions
And the way I can sometimes be both a slap and a distraction
To people.

The attraction of risking others’ emotions is
The Attention, the resultant direction of
Eyes towards my antics, my words.
I’m the first to admit it.

And too often
I don’t look at what I’ve said
Until the later hours, when someone says
“Hey,
That really hit me hard.”

And then I apologize
Because at that point there’s no other words
To make it less stinging, less hard;
Even “I’m sorry” really won’t heal that much
Of the scar.

I say scars, but only ’cause it rhymes;
Maybe there’s been a few times
Where I’ve been so unkind that it cuts so deep
The surrounding tissue puckers and heals awry,
But mostly they’re bumps and bruises,
A few paper cuts.

Don’t think I don’t care, I’m
Scared of what I do when I’m not looking
To the people
I care about.

I know the best solution to my apology condition (my
blatant inattention) would be to
Tone down my actions.
I’ve never really done that.
I don’t know how to backtrack or which
Words lack the stinging smack of
Unintended harassment.

The only solution,
The only viable battle plan is to listen
Instead of speaking
And try to swing it so I don’t seem sullen, don’t attract
Attention with my silence.

Some of my favourite people
Are completely understated.
The ones who say the funniest things
In the quietest voices.

It’s not in my blood to be that way.
But I could quiet what I do,
Save the energy for emergencies and
Say better things.

Draw out this marrow and
Replace it with
Liquid quiet
So I
Have
An endless internal supply.
Quiet
Replicating cells of
Quieter quiet. It grows
Quiet.

I grow
Quiet.

© Emily Bragg 2013

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Let Me Hurt You Not Again

I know a girl whose thoughts masquerade as gilded golden trophies, hiding doubt and angry rabble crossing ‘cross her splintered mind. I don’t know her mind at all, and yet I know so much; the rest I fabricate. I don’t know when I hurt her and when I do I can’t retract the words because I don’t know which of them sting, hidden barbs so clear to all the rest.

I love this girl.

And after all these years she remains a clear-cut enigma, my projections falsifying her reality. I forget she has weaknesses, so much do I aspire to what she does, what she says. I don’t understand how someone so incredible can see such warped reflections of themselves, so much so that I, I pose a threat. Lash back, I think. Hurt me like I hurt you. I wouldn’t know what to expect.

Dear, refuse my words. Craft yourself a vessel of barb-proof determinism and push off, sail away. I want your words and mind spread before me, but if I can’t carve a space for myself without cutting too deep when my knife slips sideways, push me out.

I never thought I was the stronger one. You were always the brighter light, I only tagged along. And to hear that all along you saw me as brighter? My mind reels. I don’t understand. I can’t be who I am without you, because you define me. Every shared tryst, every joke, every silent moment we’ve built together is the foundation of who I am. You have given me so much strength, and now I only hope you’ll let me try to give some back.

But if I ever become an enemy, cut me down.

© Emily Bragg 2013