i first learned that my boundaries didn’t matter

when i was a single digit years old.

i learned that i didn’t always have a say

over my body,

or when i did,  

my words were empty

to the ones who wouldn't listen.


i was still using training wheels  

the first time i screamed

“stop!! please!! it hurts!”

i sobbed

i pleaded

but they just wouldn’t stop…

tickling me

words that i’ve now screamed internally

in a similar fashion

due to similar circumstances

of having my body touched against my will

i’ve learned to prioritize other people’s emotions over mine

i would rather deal with the emotional labor

of a boundary crossed

until my eyes run dry

and my lips go blue

than make another person “feel bad”

now as a double digit year old  i’ve learned that


are little kisses you are giving

to the parts of yourself

that have become cracked

when other’s emotions outweighed yours.  

today i have adrenaline rushes when i say no to plans

or when i leave early

or when i say

“no, i’m not drinking tonight”

today i understand that

as much as i’ve wanted to mean my yes’,

my no’s are what bring weight

to my words

and i finally surround myself

with people

who hear even the faintest whisper of


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