brittle soul syndrome

i hide my
behind a
steely demeanor
because if
everyone saw
how easy it is
to shatter me
my brittle
soul syndrome
would make
them all
afraid to look
in my direction

barely human
more bruise
than man
a puckered scar
on the face
of beauty
marring perfection
with a careless
disregard for

when i was a kid
a stained glass
window blew out
from the old church
and landed in one
glorious mess
on the sidewalk
i remember staring
at it for so long
wondering why it
resonated so hard
but i see now that
the broken called
to a kindred spirit

i am stronger than
my failures may
seem to imply
and i am weaker than
my smile seeks to hide
so when people
actively look to
harm and help
you’ll forgive me if
i involuntarily
flinch away
too many years spent
hit by an iron fist
in a velvet glove
taping myself back
into near functionality
when all the king’s horses
and all the king’s men
couldn’t put the fool
back together again

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