how to read,
how to write,
how to speak,
left from right (although I'm still sometimes wrong),
right from wrong,
and a multitude of useful things.
I've also learned things I wish I didn't.
I've learned shame
the inorganic emotion
etched into the tops of my hip bones,
along my eyelids,
following the knots of my twisted knuckles,
and over patches of skin.
I'm ashamed of my appearance
and how the way my spine curves
with my neck arching forward
and how my knuckles twist like my stomach
from playing the flute and piano
and how my nails are short
because I chew them while my stomach twists
and how there are patches of dry skin
because my eczema comes in waves of stress
and then I'm ashamed of that because people ask why my hand is that way
and then it gets worse.
Shame is the gaping hole we all have in our chests and hate
and we try desperately to fill the void with smiles, jokes, and laughter.
It's the part of us that isn't part of us
and we try to paint over it.
Shame is something we're ashamed of.
It's the car hidden in our blindspot,
its the feeling of a chair tipping too far back,
or a socked foot unable to find purchase on wooden stairs.
It's something that shouldn't have happened,
but it did.