Batter these walls,
strike them like a cymbal.
There is a word resonating within,
written deep within these iron chambers.
It is a hiding place,
a vile refuge,
a bloodbath in which I soak.
It is the feast of the beast
who waits to devour me and my name
and every heartbeat apart from me.
The name is shame.
Shame is the dirge I hear at the end of the day.
It is the bookmark in the blessings
my heritage gave me.
An underwater handbook of season
(and spice and everything nice).
An heirloom, an inheritance,
never fought for.
It is our stance, the lines etched in our face;
mother, daughter, daughter, mother, sister, friend.
It follows the footsteps of every woman I know.
Fix your face.
Be a sweet girl.
Smile all the way through bloody hell.
Enjoy every minute of it.
You’re too uptight, just relax.
Don’t let yourself go.
Don’t be too sexy.
Don’t be dowdy.
Don’t eat that.
Don’t talk about how you really feel.
Cry in the shower.
Cry in your pillow.
Am I too loud?
Am I too quiet?
How can I change for you today?
Shame is the semblance of spirituality
twisting into a profane sense of Christian duty and morality
and appearance and judgment.
It is knowing I am not.
It is red in the register
that demands sweat and blood to repay.
It is love, altered into its most hideous form.
It blesses and serves;
It leads, but not to and for life.
No, for where love gives wings,
shame demands chains.
It is a sideways glance.
it is a roulette of sunglasses
It is the stench of red clay and Old Spice
the scent of pie crust promises made and re-made
with a different name and a different taste,
but always the same damn smell.
I’m telling you, I can smell it.
It is every.where.
And it whispers, “damn you.”
But shame wasn’t the first word,
and it won’t be the last.
Set the captives free.
[Music: Stand by Son Lux. Listen Here.]