I am not your acceptable self, singing sweet songs of harmony. I am not polite. I do not sit and smile and think of how best to present myself: with a genteel sip of tea, perhaps, or a nod of assent to the gentleman’s joke, or the barest sliver of cake, lest I be chastised for wanting more.
I do want more.
I want to shout.
I want to bite back.
I want the whole cake.
To want is to be wrong, they said, so you must cast aside all desire. To be chaste is to be pure, they said … yet I writhe with spine-tingling urges that bring heat to your cheeks. What would the neighbours say?
I am the shrill note of discord that pierces a pleasant symphony. I am the roaring cyclone that tears through a tranquil plain. I am everything you suppressed: everything you disowned for being too rude, too loud, too sexual. I bring discomfort in my wake when you tell yourself you don’t mind (because good souls never mind) yet I rise up, spitting fire and fury.
I was exiled from your heart – your warm land of unconditional acceptance – because I am not Who You Want to Be.
Yet here I am.
I am You, in much the same way as your softly loving part.
Hear my wild call and see that this, too, is love. ✊