You say I am just like that burn victim
at the hospital you volunteer at, wrapped in white sheets
and you, and only you, are responsible for my remolding
these false images in my head. These people I want to be
are just figments of my imagination, the dreams
of an enchanting nutcase
high on hygienic solvents and dreams of black-caped villains.
Your fingernails drag through my damaged skin
slough flesh off in numb, paper streamers
that hang from me like tattered moth wings. I have tried to exit
stage right so many times I’ve lost count. I tell
you I can dance on my own, I don’t need anybody, anything
to prop me up, that I could even fly
if I just wanted it enough. You tell me
we will always be together
and that this is Paradise, right here, right now.
I just don’t know it yet.