When I close my eyes,
all I hear is howling; howling
like the winds
that throw themselves
at the cliffs I jump when
I want to remember
what fear is;
or the winds that
scream in the night
to wake me
from the dreams
I have about growing;
growing up;
or into a man
or maybe something
else –
becoming the person
I want to be;
or the person
I was told that I wanted to be;
I can’t quite remember anymore.
When I close my eyes;
I see other eyes – my eyes?
Sometimes they are
My eyes are yellow
when my blue green eyes
have closed.
Jaundiced and starved;
saddened by who I have been
neglected by who I would become;
They are hungry eyes;
grown into wanting more
than they are given
Trained by restraint
to wait until we are alone
before they howl;
When I close my eyes;
I hear my howling;
I hear the bestial
animalistic parts of me;
those mongrel thoughts
raised on toxic masculinity
And beaten like the child
of a man who fears
no consequence;
raised to
be a victim
or a victimiser
two paths
born out of hate
and destined to end there
When I close my eyes
I hear the man that I could have become
and when I open my eyes
I silence them.
Photo Credit: Leni Battalis – artist, apparently

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