This frivolous, flirty, light-hearted tone
Is all you see of me.
You try to firmly grasp your fingers around my cactus heart.
You're so surprised when I sting you.
And my barbs go so deep
They itch beneath your skin for ages.
Like many before you
I scratching linger on your fingertips.
The harder you strangle,
or pull this way and that to break or bend me,
The harder I bite and coolly watch
As you nurse your injuries and call me names
to console yourself.
I grin at every well-earned drop of blood you shed
And guard my heart inside its net of thorns,
Waiting for the hand that chooses instead to lightly cradle,
And barely feels my sting
As I settle into its palm.
© mjc 03 February 2016