Malicious teeth hook into the curve of my words
And drag my hollow value down the gilded page of my book.
Foreign pens and malevolent verses scrape upon the face of mine,
Inaudible whispers beat upon my ink’s ear,
Soundless and yet
Just barely understood.
The strike by the lip of the astonishing
Just barely felt.
Twelve, or four, six, or two
Scrutinizing eyes
Shred my meaning from my back,
Stripped the purpose coating my flesh
And deserted me bare
To penetrating, dilated eyes of unforeseen critics
From behind the glamorous veil of their likeability.
Amounting to what?