Familiar Strangers

I bite my tongue
You chew your nails.
You bow your head

Defeat and silence falls
like a curtain on our lives

We are familiar strangers
You and I
I pour coffee
You read the news

Passing ships
Our eyes barely meet

You reach for a kiss
I grab it away
You leave for work
I wish you would stay

I’m not the person I was before
Before I knew your secrets
Secrets that destroyed my faith
Cut my heart out

Sew shut my eyes
Freeze over my heart
I’ll wall myself up
Hide away
Burn a hole in yesterday

Familiar strangers
I hold myself to hold it all together
Hold myself the way you should have held me



I breathe in. Sight. Fire.
Breathe out.
We are one rhythm.
One unit.
Controlled, steady, sure.

Another day-
another practice.
Muscle Memory

For you see I am a woman.
I live and thrive in a man’s world.
But given the choice between hand to hand and a swift bullet
I’d draw every time.

I am small.
My body has been broken many times
But I will not be a victim.
I am a woman, but I am not weak.

I will protect those I have sworn to
Including myself-
Including you.