Right and wrong

good and bad

perfect and imperfect

more and less

less is more

self-correct but

take direction

I’m sick of listening to your

nit-picked manipulations


I’ve been corrected my whole life

for everything I do

What I eat, what I say

how I feel, how I move.

Unfortunately for both of us

I am smart, and all this direction

has made me unwell.

A splint on my soul,

a corrective brace in place

of love, understanding, empathy.

They should’ve tried to help, but instead

they shamed and smothered my



They always start to suggest

a way for me to be my best

I cannot be a different way,

I am supposed to be myself, they say.

Be true to yourself!

But not like that.

Imagine how happy you could be

if you’d just try this, or change that.


I’m done being corrected,

they fix me up and I

break myself, faster, harder.

I’ve had it being fixed,

I’m sick, sad, and I shape-shift.


Fucking what even


Don’t put some shape-shifty bitch in a mold

and get mad when she breaks it.

You’re the idiot who never learns,

not some poor kid you see as defective.

I wasn’t born a shapeshifter,

I had to learn

I had to teach myself to shape-shift

to be able to make it through this world

A phoenix, rising up from the ashes

only to find it’s new home

is a cage, full of self-hatred

punitive living,

daily lashes.


I used to think

that if I carved it in

the scars would help the message sink.

Now, I see them.

Faint marks where emotion had been

hoping to make me better

hoping to let the punishment in


They taught me how to self-correct,

they taught me how to discipline

I thought I’d let the right ones in–

but all they know is pain, and fear.

They taught me how to punish

When what I needed was a friend–

a mother, a parent.

You taught me how to punish,

you told me not to feel.

All I ever needed

was someone to teach me how to heal.

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