The response of the body and the soul are the same
To gird self with armor, to flee from the shame
The scars form without, to protect the within
I rip off the callouses, again and again

My natural instinct, not feel pain more than once
But my deepest desires are more than my wants
I will not grow dull, to a pain stricken world
A white flag of surrender, I slowly unfurl

The wisest of counsel, to remain not exposed
My invulnerable cloak feels its death throes
For I will not feel dull to the hurt all around
Mail and plate are removed and thrown to the ground

Here I stand, full exposed, and naked by choice
That the world for a moment may hear my small voice
You may be alone – I’m alone here with you
Stricken, wounded, abandoned…but now there are two

I’ve one life to live, this the life that I choose
Reaching into the tempest, that I may be you.

-Jason Crathes


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