Words are wielded like torches,
unintentionally hot,
accidentally unconstrained,
and hit patches of flesh we did not expect.

I breathe fire without insult,
singe discontent, unaware,
and spread consequence,
burning a hole in my confidence.

Leave me ash and shame,
and smolder with my sorrow,
as a stare deep into the embers,
red as all in sight.

The wildfires are strong.
Don’t send me if I’m not ready.
I will only scream what is right.
I cannot weaponize those flames.

So you point your torch,
pressed to my throat.
Fiery scolding is no answer,
when the wildfires have always been here.

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