Am I Worth Your Compassion?

By Kris Kaila

If I whispered my secret in your ear,
Would you believe it?
Would you need to see the receipts?
Could you hold my hand
and say nothing
but “I believe you.”
Or would you need me to strip my skin
so you could climb in
put on my too sexy shoes
and maybe the too tight outfit I wore that day?
Would you need to
read the transcript
hear all the inflictions, pauses, words left unsaid
see all the micro gestures?
Does yes once, mean yes always
like a jurist, weigh all the evidence
then zip through all our interactions
the inaudible grunts, murmurs.
Have I ever been caught in a lie?
Did I shoplift candy as a child?
If a woman is sexually assaulted
and there is no one around to judge her after,
can she say she is a survivor?
I have been gaslighted throughout my life.
I kept all my secrets in shadows
burying them in, “I’m okay”,
till my body was too full of decay
that when I spoke all that came out was tears.
If I show you my vulnerability
will my trauma be valid then?

Kris Kaila (She/Her) is a Vancouver, BC poet, writer, book reviewer, blogger. Kris is a Collab Fellow with The Poetry Lab and finds her passion in all things creative. @krisesque_life

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