Please, don’t be gentle.

Please, don’t be gentle.

Don’t treat me like I might break.

Or like I might cry if you speak truth.

Or like if I do cry that I can’t survive it, the way I’ve been surviving my whole life before you.

Don’t think for a moment that I can’t handle what you offer.

Or that I can’t speak up if it gets to be too much. That I don’t know how to use my words on my own behalf when it’s needed.

Don’t reduce yourself to let me shine.

Or that your success is a threat to mine or my love for you. I’m not small minded, and it makes me happy to see you grow.

Don’t hold back how you feel, because you worry it’s too much for me.

Or bite your tongue and massage the truth to “spare my feelings.” I consider that lying, if only by omission.

Don’t touch me feather-gentle.

That shit tickles.

Grab me, hold me, need with your deepest passion. If it’s too intense, I will let you know, but I will take as much as I can handle, and reflect it back to you.

I am not dainty.

I am not fragile.

I am not others.

I am me. Strong, loving, here.

So, tonight, don’t be gentle.

Just be you.

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