My hands twist together
grubby, brown fingers hiding each other.
It seems selfish to mar your fragile innocence,
your crisp, white, clean slate,
with my damaged truth.
You speak of your hardships
and I listen without judgement.
But I can’t help but feel dirty in comparison
so I shuffle my feet
and I bring my arms tight against my body
my hands under my thighs,
It’s my turn to speak.
My voice catches in my throat,
mingled with the swallowed past trying to escape.
Like an overflowing trash can,
I push the garbage down and I blink away the sting.
I would speak
but I don’t want to be a pesky stain,
soiling your beautiful white dress.
a stain that doesn’t stick
and is washed away with water.
I want to linger.
My words remain inside,
But they remain mine.