Your pain is not important.
You can't complain
because Mother's hands traced hourglasses
and she thrust her hips out
and made smacking noises
over your full breasted figure
when you were thirteen
and Daddy hid his magazines
but told you the jokes anyway
while his eyes traced your full breasted figure
when you were thirteen
and Mom dragged you out of bed
and took you to a neighbor's house
because Daddy was out drinking
and she expected anything of him
he was a bastard
he might kill her
he might rape you
when you were thirteen.
It was only words.
You can't complain.
Others were raped
by fathers, mothers, strangers,
You were only assaulted
with words.
You've been called crazy,
divorced, fired,
your son won't talk to his crazy Mom,
lots of friends won't talk to you again,
but you can't complain.
You haven't been locked up, tied down, burned through
with electricity,
shot up with so much thorazine
you bled from every opening from your ears
to your cunt.
You've been lost and cold and hungry
but never for long enough.
You've never been trespassed out of the welfare office,
arrested out of the hospital,
shot for stealing a loaf of bread;
can't complain.
You have to heal the world
because everybody else's pain
is more important than yours
is more real than yours
yours is only words.
dig underneath the words
and you will find
a heart knotted like a trumpet.
You can sound that heart
in words
and the other wounded hearts
These words are blood,
chips of white bone.
These words have stripped the flesh from your back,
and they can rebuild it.
It is never
only words.

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