I'm tired of being patient and

Letting others drag their boots

Over my crooked spine. I smile—

Not realizing that

They choose to see weakness, 

Naivety. I may be a little too kind,

Like alcohol on an open wound.

Painfully nice.

But behind my expression, 

My blood boils, waiting to spill,

And my lungs fill with words

I dare not breathe—for they will cut. 

I will not be a doormat onward,

I will be selfish, 

Lighting fires around me to warn,

Letting the boot draggers know

That I am not or ever was

What they assumed.