one of my favorite poems

Mr. Ehrmann, we desire the same conditions.

But

I cannot seem to avoid myself, vexing as I can be.

I work to be calm and kind.

Yet sometimes a cyclone ravages my cranium.

I was quiet and meek once.

It nearly killed me.

No, not figuratively.

These descriptors you used,

The things I hate most about myself at times,

The cardinal crimes women are told never to commit,

Sometimes they are survival.

Sometimes they’re the skills needed

to escape suffocation

by a drunk person

lethally wielding

a soft, silent pillow.