on the inside (i am outside).

i wish that i could say

that i have

all the answers.


or perhaps,

. just a few.

that would be good.


that i have

. somehow,

grown fat with wisdom.


i have neither.


. all i have in my hands

are words.


. and none of them are smooth.


they are hungry words

that know how to search

when the lights have gone out.


they are strong words

that know how to break down walls,

one stone at a time.


they are brave words

that know how to open windows,

when all the doors are locked.


they are tender words

that know how to soothe what is broken,

because they remember.


. because,

i remember

. what it is to need water

and hope.


and i have


stumbled right into the middle of my life

still carrying a bag of questions.


. rebellious ones at that.

or, so i have been told.


not fit for one who stands in the shadow of the cross.


. my coat,

is too bright

or too faded

or too there-is-something-not-quite-right


we can see right through that cloak


she does not fit in,

. here on holy ground.


i know.

. i know.


but i can pour shame

onto paper




of grace.


and i can string words into lights

that stubbornly lead the way out.

or up,

. if you believe.



this relentless unmasking

of flesh







into words,

. is all that i have been given

in exchange



that has been taken.


and still

it is not enough?



—on the inside (i am outside).



© Liezel Graham 2019.

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