Beneath the surface,
under the swagger,
behind the pearly whites,
beyond the shattering, shaming,
self-slamming, demeaning,
is ourselves.

Our years of layers,
thick, rich, creamy,
like childhood birthday cakes,
prancing around — pretending,
when deep down all we want is belonging;
understanding us, for us.

Perhaps Merlin,
but otherwise, none are mind-readers,
and connections forged are through the heart, not the mind.

Vulnerability comes and goes,
but who we are

Our savior, our grace,
stammering, stuttering,
we will find our way.