Badges.

Let me show you who I am,
The tokens of belonging, the carefully labelled choices,
The declarations of allegiance,
Judgements and feelings made visible.

Let me show you where I hide,
The tribes which I advertise, the values which I subscribe to,
The tastes which I adopt,
A jigsaw of a life searching for a place to be.

Let me show you what I think,
The things that mean the most to me, my dearest loves,
The pleasures and the joys which filled my heart
And burned a lasting memory on my soul.

Let me show you where my own small self lurks
Peering nakedly at a world chock full of confusion,
Where people blast their way down the streets
Announcing both their importance and their vulnerability,
Proving their individuality by being just like everybody else,
Searching for others who may share their joy and pain.

But if I show you, and you have time to look,
Know that this small self is real and true.
It trembles in its hiding place, ready to run.
Move softly and use gentle hands.

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