- Poetry & Prose
Somehow, Yet Again
I’ve thought myself in circles, cuckoo-sign-motion circles,
and a “microaggression” begins to feel, instead of a reason I will never not be tense—
on guard, assessing and reassessing events, raking through situations and comments
for legitimizations of the nagging sense that I’m right to be hurt, to take offense—
like just another deprecating term for me:
a small person who is overreacting, angry—
Hey—why are you—it was just a joke, God.
Mostly I want you to be silent, whoever you may be,
so we can eliminate any danger of it—
of your saying the “wrong thing”—
of your saying the thing whose wrongness will be my burden to explain.
At the student I’ve only talked to once,
At the anonymous, avatar-less YouTube commenter,
At the childhood friend leaning against my shoulder on the couch, face awash with TV-glow—
I launch myself, an infinitesimal flea, wings flailing, at the great, wide windshield of the world. But silence isn’t productive,
and though now I feel at sea,
bobbing among all the flotsam words,
wondering how to go about this, overcome my characteristic muteness,
I dream of a classroom, social network, home, in which I am neither micro nor aggressive
but big enough to be listened to, understood, respected.