Woo Kata

Insomnia, cigarettes, coffee;

You stumbled upon my skin,

Nothing underneath to befriend

But you shared your soul with me


So I could have one awhile.


Despising flesh, but still

Your eyes caught underneath,

Scalpels cutting deep,

With calm surgical skill.


You see parts of me I don’t.


I repudiated community.

Injecting intentional lies

To avert watchful eyes,

But you possessed immunity,


And I stood before you exposed.


The good and bad in open air.

I didn’t know what else to do.

I fled. I fought. I bit you.

You continued unimpaired


To tame the shrew in me.


Then began the raining tempest

Dissolving my once impenetrable resistance.

I could no longer keep you a safe distance,

But curled up under you for rest.


I finally slept at last.


When I awoke, the flood had receded.

We stood together; defenseless, alone.

You: a threat I’d never known,

But I had already conceded.


I was yours to guard or grieve.


These staggered breaths, these years exhaled,

Have shown a soul cannot be earned,

But perhaps re-grown, or returned.

I got mine back the day I failed


To treat you like all the rest.

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