For Women Who Hide
I’ve never been good at accepting apologies
because in a society where my presence can be a burden
I have etched “sorry” onto my tongue
and it doesn’t even burn anymore when I say it,
so I shrink into the corner of my seat praying that
the night will soon be over.
No, I can’t accept apologies
the words slip from your mouth like poison
and flow through my veins until I’m crying
because they’re burning now,
so I shower and try to sleep but I still feel guilty
for requiring respect.
The next time I see you I’ll whisper
the same thing I texted you at 3am
“I’m so sorry, baby”
and you’ll laugh it off,
so I’ll place pain inside a bottle and pretend that
my apologies aren’t actually goodbyes.
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