i am a passionate woman
who doesn’t lie,
but is finding it hard to tell The Truth. . .
i’ve been a nice girl for so long
that burning my membership card
is only an initiation, not a transformation.
it’s like learning to talk again,
like visiting italy with a ragged dictionary.
sometimes i mention the wart on your chin
when all i really meant to do was ask for directions to the restroom.
sometimes i squeal and shriek like a 3-year old,
when what i really want to tell you is that i wish this moment
this very moment
would last forever.
maybe i look like a grown woman
who should know better,
bear with me.
help me learn to talk.
when i allow my flat lines to go curvy with
fury or glee or deep-seated, bottled-up feeling,
don’t tell me to calm down.
when i disagree with you,
don’t push the air between us with your palms
and tell me to wait just a minute.
when i appear agitated and my words trip and stumble on their way out,
when i look down instead of making eye contact,
when i’m obviously upset,
and you can’t believe
or don’t understand
what you’re hearing,
set aside your admonition to take a deep breath,
and instead of
asking what on earth has gotten into me . . .
just ask me what’s going on right here right now.
ask me what it is i really want to say,
uncross your arms,
lean a bit forward in your chair,
and maybe, if you’re feeling especially patient and caring and willing,
give me a hint of an encouraging smile
or at least bring the frown up to a non-judgmental, non-commital flat line,