Life taught her well –

hide beneath pretty

packaging, paint sleeves

pink like brittle


fingernails to ward

off the curious

and offer a semblance

of heart without


engagement. Scars

mean band-aids,

amateurish wrappings

to disguise the terror


of being known, the

risk of offering her

self and finding that

she is not enough.

Break Out



Panic throws up her

force field and solidifies

resistance to the truth;

denial hardens her


tortoise-shell exterior.

Her heart has been spared

in this temporary cocoon,

but greenhouse emissions


end up blowing a lot of hot

air, and little else of any

real substance. Her foray

into the real world


can’t be put off forever,

or she will stunt in her

space capsule, grow gangly

in her soul’s quest for


a fruitful life. She hasn’t

yet tasted sun skin to skin,

or roots flying free, or

she would break out.