hard water, soft words

we talked
about people like you
in class today;
{you beautiful broken Maurizia Rugieris}
I just want you to know
while they all used words like “selfish”
and “private fantasy,”
I used the words “adapting” and “shifting characters;”
I spoke aloud, I took a breath
and let my words fall out into the circle of strangers
I said “I do not believe
her to be
a bad person—
no, not at all—personally”

I tried to tell them
that sometimes the macaw follows you because she wants to,
that sometimes
wearing black is necessary to even feel anything at all, when someone is lost
I said “who wouldn’t follow their passions? Who wouldn’t
want to believe
that they’re madly in love?
Who wouldn’t
hate themselves
for loving themselves
for hating themselves?”

I pleaded your case
and didn’t know
I had done so
until hours later,
thinking back
on my own soft words

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