By Devika Brendon,


There it is, again, the self that is not shy

That has held back – not out of fear – but

Out of a desire that the blow not go awry;

Motivated by a different kind of restraint.


Papered over, embossed with cruelty,

Adorned with a signature sense of glee

At the ease with which suffering can be

Inflicted, projected, cast, imprinted:

The way an impact can taint.


Callousness, the thin skin broken time and again,

Impervious to anything now:

Insult, disdain, and – like a soft refrain

In a pure metal song –

The tenderness of love

Beyond all intended harm and wrong.



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