An enemy has punched my face ten times.
My lip is bleeding, loose teeth, damaged gums.
I start to hit back, then a dear friend comes
And holds me back from punishing their crimes.

‘Don’t go down to their level,’ friend might say.
‘ You really must hang on to the high ground.’
And hold you fast, putting their arms around
so that you cannot fight in any way

And still are beaten. ‘Soon perhaps they’ll tire.
Your dignity’s intact, poor battered friend.
They mean well too. I know that in the end
they’ll stop’ Meanwhile your torn cheek is on fire.

They kiss your enemy. Perhaps they’ve tried
to help. Or are they really on your side?


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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3 Responses to Inflammatory

  1. papersky says:

    Oh beautifully well put.

    And this will be helpful to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations where that happens, as well as being perfect for this specific situation — I think when people do litcrit they call this kind of thing a Universal.

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