there is something wrong with me,
my lips or my words. or maybe it's
just the look in my bluegray eyes,
smiling into the world, death grip on
skin-deep optimism, pretending not to
feel the extremity of his anger -
the flat-out pain we say is love.

but whatever it is, it's inside me,
where it can't be fixed or forgotten.
and somehow i dare people to
hurt me, to suffocate me, to leave
handprints, purple bruises fading
beneath the obvious make-up.

well, you can say it's not my fault,
but i know, i know it is; know that
there is something wrong with me,
something deeply wrong with me.