I wear a mask of a warrior.
It is unreadable and solid.
This armour protects me from the harshness and kindness that I don’t deserve.
It deflects the relentless attacks on my being that would hurt me.
I know this is a mask because I can take it off.
It gets hot and claustrophobic under here.
I want nothing more than to take it off and breathe freely the cool air that reaches the rest of my being.
When I do, it is rare for nobody to mock, ridicule or be scared by what they see.
The frequent chinks in my armour give people a glance below.
I wonder if they noticed, fearful of their negativity.
Fearful of their opportunist attack upon my rawness.
Fearful of the pain from the harshness and the cognitive dissonance of the kindness.
The mirror I gaze into reflects me, to me in the perceptions and perspective of me.
The reflection is not only of that moment in time or that space in this dimension of this universe, it cascades back to the start of my time.
I see all past versions of me.
Some I pity, some I hate, some I envy and some I miss.
The harshness I hide from is truth.
The Kindness is too.
Both are given in that moment in time, in that space of this dimension of this universe.
Neither can delete nor replace the previous installations.
When you have had your being sanded down to dust it feels impossible to rebuild.
No matter how similar the likeness may be the particles still remember being ground and destroyed.
Removing the armour to risk another erosion is to hope.
To hope that there’s enough glue to repair and enough particles to reattach.
If you only see my armour, ask why?
Why do you not see it lies upon a fragile, raw being?
If you see only my armour but never fully behind it, ask why?
Why do I hide from you?
Why do you want to know what is behind here.
I have taken off my mask.
I stand here and show you me.
I’ve cut paper hearts and wrote messages upon them.
I feel so intensely about so many things.
Some make me so miserable I want to cry.
Some make me feel so good I want to die.
More often though they make me ask why.
Why shouldn’t you take out your emery paper?
Why must you, me, we, feel like this.
Why don’t I show this me to everybody?
Why can people not all see me like the few that like what’s behind this steal?
Why don’t I let myself breathe and feel the cool air you blow across my skin?
Why do I fear your sand paper but not the chisel wearing away within?
All the feeling I spend on others are missing from me.
When they are given back tenfold I am glad.
But fear they are spiked with mould and will make my water go bad.
I need to let myself analyse every drip and drop.
This causes a delay for evaporation to happen.
I must let go and let people be the spring to my well.
A well is only useful as long as it doesn’t run dry.
It stops existing when it crumbles and decays.
I need to limit access to my water while my tables rise again.
Then only hydrate those that deserve all of me.