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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