‘Unspoken’ by Inez Tan

I was told not to play with fire, but not
that everything has fire inside.

I was cursed like this:
We shouldn’t have to tell you,
you should know already.

I was told not to lie, but
too late – I had already told myself many lies,

for example: because I did not always obey
wishes that were not spoken out loud, I was
deficient, unloving, shameful,

disappointing, guilty, selfish, and sick. But I was told
to come running when I was called,

so I always did.

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