My poor lover is so thin skinned, so quick to bruise and bleed. Words cut him to the bone and leave wounds which tear open again at the slightest provocation. He doesn’t have the armor of apathy and disdain that I do. Where I can turn my back on the hurled insults, the cruel whispers and spiteful glares, each one lands a fresh blow on his unprotected flesh. He breaks beneath their loathing like a sapling stripped and battered in a storm. I wish just once he would turn his fear and sorrow to fury and hatred instead. Anger would cleanse him, burn away infected, necrotic flesh and speed the healing. I want him to fight back, to spit his blood in their faces and laugh when they flinch away from the taint. We can’t change the world but we can sure as hell bear our battle scars with pride. If he would just embrace the rage, learn to strike out instead of backing down, he’d never spare a tear for their slurs or condemnation again.

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