(Trigger warning.)

Someone told me
Not to share my truth once,
Because it is heavy and sad,
And it can pull at the
Strings of hearts.

He told me stay quiet.
He said war is caused
By speaking true what we may think of another.
That by speaking pain,
It is unleashed upon this world.

But this is denial.
Pain is here everyday
All around us.
Pain can rip at the seams
Of the fabric of a person.
Pain can devour any and all
Isolation then comes to befriend the pained.

They shuffle along
Staring at the floor,
Quiet about this thing called

“Surely, the package store
Will distract me.
The music that I hear
Filled with commercials
That speak of
Cheer through beer…”

Because what kind of
Joy comes from admitting
There is pain
And we must stay
Blind, deaf, and dumb
To keep it away.

Well honestly,
Fuck that! I say.
Throw away this mandate
That we must stay sedated
Consumed by their games,
That we must stop breathing
True air,
And suck fumes of the

Fuck silence.
And fuck apathy too.
And fuck speaking nice
When the man has his
Thumb all the way up my ass.
Yes. I’ve got that much sass.

I spoke.
And when I did
Broke the rusty wheel
Turning the machine.
And the bars on my cage
Shattered from the faulty steel.
It was all a facade anyway.

Pain locked my mind in a prison
This world said be quiet.
Don’t speak the pain,
Lest it know we sense it,
Lest it devour our hearts
In a gulp,
Lest we awaken
And have to fight to be whole.

Well, I spoke up anyway
And now there’s fire in my soul.
And the spark,
I see it,
Aflame over there,
And that person knows
I see too
That the pain is real.

And we don’t have to swallow
That same goddamn pill.
We don’t have to drink, smoke, fuck,
And be pretend to be merry.
We don’t have to amass great wealth and drink fine sherry.

We can fucking be free
Of all of it,
And just shine true in
That yes, there are dark days,
And yes, there are
Ugly crying days,
And yes, sometimes
I just
Don’t even care days.

But there is also knowing
We aren’t alone.
We are the same.
We tried really hard
To stay locked in a prison,
To be locked in denial,
Afraid to feel pain.

But I, shadow walker,
Phoenix extraordinaire,
I broke all the rules,
I will speak my truth
Until I’m blue.
I will yell my truth
Till my voice stops short.
And I’ll dance it all away clean.

Because you can no more
Trap a tiger
In a house of cards
Than you can lock my
Soul in a prison
Based on a farce.

And by seeing the darkness
And fighting within,
I found the way
To light my own light again.
And aflame is how I’m walking,
Through this quagmire
Called life,
And I’m taking names and addresses
Of those in my way.
There’s a Goddess
Awoken and burning,
Inside of me.
Now, I just dare you to
Try and silence me.
My flame burns brighter
Than pain could ever again
Sedate me.

-Angel Marie Russell