let me put my claws away and
quash the itch to scratch you;
reflexes I’ve been sharpening
for when you start to pounce.
let me retract the statement
I spat out to protect myself;
the venom I have held onto
in case you turn out the same.
let me pull that punch I threw
at you for trying to console me;
it’s habitual self-defense learnt
from a teacher I’d rather forget.
let me take back the bet I made
that you’d leave me too soon;
a bluff I called out of practice
for fear of being wrong again.
let me take off this pretense
I’ve been wrapping myself in;
I don’t always know what to do,
sometimes that scares me.
let me first take time to apologise
for making you play him in this act;
I’m still untangling the knots I left
in my mind whilst trying to escape.
-A.Webb (first draft)