They are trying to reduce me, shatter me, to one thing, one fault
And mistake, one moment, decontextualised, depersonalised.
They rob me of my worst decrescendo, redefine it with their judgement,
Outstanding, and declare that this is all I am: my darkest hour.
They weave fables around my body and splash their lies across my back.
I walk in wax. I contain myself at every age, am never deserted, I’ve never
Stood still. If they believe in that, and in the one name that sticks, the accusation,
And not in the remedy, the enlightenment and amelioration, I do not crown them
With my attention. I look at the fingers pointed at me and what they are hiding.
And I find my sense of calm. That’s where we all meet, when we fall on our knees.
But not all of us walk in dirty trousers and meet across different paths in the wilderness.
Holding hands with all the proper selves in unison, unmarked by screaming lampposts.
“White Roses” by Étienne Adolphe Piot (1825-1910)