You can’t control what people make of you.
Some see sacrifice
where others see torture, and some see suffering
where others see pleasure.
A body bound and contorted,
the chest fletched with arrows,
the inguinal crease
slashing away from modesty—
of all the martyrs you’ve loved
I’m the one who comes
ripped and rippling to the canvas,
my face a study in crisis. And you wonder if I like it—
the way a golden light spills
over my skin when the head sinks in,
the way my pain hardens men
to further action.
Do I ask you how many times
someone fired an arrow
your way and you unbuttoned your shirt?
Let us have no more
We’ve both cast
our eyes skyward, hoping for release.
You want to know how I can stand
so long with so little support,
and I’ll tell you what I tell myself—
for God’s sake, you just lean into it.