Words that are mine yet belong to another. The lines resonate with the sounds of my aches and exultations. I sink into the luxury of concrete and abstract intersecting, and feel on my back the pressing weight of familiar truth revealed anew. Once, twice, and three times more I scan the page, memorizing each turn of phrase and uniquely situated adjective.

Then, an opportunity to share, and I am seized with indecision. Revealing this means vulnerability; my thoughts and feelings now woven into the fabric of this piece will surely be obvious. What was beautiful in solitude is shameful in the harsh light of attention.

But to keep it for myself seems…selfish, a holding back of beauty and wisdom.

More frightening: deep, deep inside, I long to be known. To have someone see the threads of my thoughts, to recognize me in the words and tell me that I add rather than subtract. And so, with fearful heart pounding and cheeks warming, I turn the page and begin reading in a halting voice that smooths into a quiet steadiness, punctuated only by silent prayers for acceptance.


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