Bloodroot

Tragedy
from my lineage;
recovery
from there too.

What made me
deflated me.
What made me
blew me back up.

I awake in a room
built of frowns and guilt
where I still lay myself down
to sleep and heal.

It damned me,
or rather, it taught me
to damn myself.
It also taught me

how to fight
with and for
the tooth and nail
I was born with. So

when you tell me
it shouldn’t matter
as if your lineage
doesn’t matter to you,

you who wants so badly
for me to hand you
the prettiest parts of mine
to dress up your own

while pressing me to be
a little more like you
in order to wash all I am 
into a great lukewarm bath

of beige you call
civility, society,
normal — when you tell me
that

I look back at
what made me
the mess I am,
the bite and blow

of day to day,
and then I look 
at you. Your lineage
betrays you

even as mine,
for all its stabby 
hold on me, stays faithful.
Stands behind me.

Tragedy is my bloodroot.
Recovery is too.
You cannot hurt me more
than I have hurt myself

in trying to heal myself.
In my poison is my safety.
In your eyes I see
no understanding

of how that can be.
Someone in your lineage
may have known that once
but you have forgotten.

That is how I win.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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