somewhere down the line
you were told about the narrow range
of acceptable emotions.
you felt an inner stirring
wanting to be expressed
and you felt your jaw tighten
and you learned to swallow it whole.
when you fell in love
you learned that when you pointed
at a real problem
that meant he would disappear
and you learned again
to swallow your neediness.
lovers have asked you what you want from them
you feel their willingness,
desperation even
to please you
to love you
but you were cold, critical, displeased
this seemed to only make them try harder
and you learned that’s how to get what you want
but this is the long way actually
there’s another way
but it requires you to go against everything you’ve been taught
to courageously stand there and share yourself
to be seen,
to need,
to let your desires be known
it’ll feel like choking, love
but go on,
just cough it up
for it’s time
you now know,
these lessons aren’t meant to be swallowed whole.