What do you have to give me?

“Oh Beloved”, you cry out the morning after. “I have nowhere else to go. Make of me an ear. What do you have to give me?”

“What do you have to give me?” you ask – not: “what do I have to give?”.

And what do you have to give? You… who right now looks upon herself like someone who deserves to sit in the corner at the back of the room – on the naughty chair.

You, who makes herself small, hides her words in a book, and her truth behind a smile.

You, filling canoes with shame and guilt and tying them to the dock of your aching heart.

You, sorrow seeping from your wounds – wounds ‘not real enough’ you believe. Ungrateful girl the voice chides. Selfish woman. Always talking about herself. Never thinking of others. Not true. Yes true. Too passionate now, too bland now, too earnest now, too trodden upon now, too weak now.

You, and the petty judgments, the unconvincing attempts to be pure, the churning stomach, the deep lines chiseled into the forehead with the tools you gave yourself.. A swollen mouth with a throat full of something, and eyes that deserve only tears. Look away. Look away.

What do you have to give?

All of it. All of it. For I will take it from you.

I will take it all.

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