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Understand Me First, Judge Me After

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  • Understand Me First, Judge Me After

    I can tell by the abrupt
    Straightening of your back
    And head lamp eyes
    You are surprised by me,
    But with the quick knot in your brow
    And crinkled eyes
    I can read the twin matinees
    PITY and FEAR
    Scrolling across your brain.
    You pity me as if I am in need of
    Your condolences for what
    Has dragged my way:
    The invisible limb
    And seated wheels
    To motor about.
    You fear me as if I am a
    Contagion walking the streets
    Seeking able bodies
    To infect with my miseries,
    To bring them down to me
    And my personal seventh level.
    Do not judge me as
    You do not know ME!
    My circumstances
    Battles I have championed
    Broken hearts I have survived.
    I can see more about you
    In your moment of reticence
    Than your strangled voice could illuminate.
    I fight every private call,
    The shouts of the myriad voices in my head,
    To anger.
    To bristle and caterwaul
    About your uneasy ignorance,
    But I would be another version of you,
    Wouldn’t I?