To Never Be Preyed Upon

To never be preyed upon

I learned

Either hunt or be hunted.

Be the breaker or the broken.

Swallow your sentimentallity

Or suffer.

Locked away in vaults

Of cold cruel steel,

Behind bitter dispassionate bars

Biting empathetic hands

I live

Looking out

At everything that’s kept away.

To never be preyed upon

Is to sever all your heartstrings

As each one tugs your veins,

Pushing them away

Before they draw you out,

Exposed, vulnerable,

Easy prey.

And every broken heartstring bleeds

In the buried vaults unseen,

Untouched by any hand

The writhing wounded psyche

I identify as me.

To never be preyed upon

Is to never be free,

Looking out to see pleasures

I wish I could’ve been

Open and tender

In such a way as to be

The delicate flower

I’ve sheltered to keep

From being preyed upon.

I weep

Behind locked steel doors

Ashamed of myself,

Afraid for myself,

In solitudes keeping

Too weak to be anything but

Never preyed upon.