Shame is found in church,
where women go monster hunting
Shame is found in hope;
in needing people and undressing
in front of them.
Shame is found in kindness
offered in the shape of apple pies
to a lover
who then offers jokes
to his friends—jokes
shaped like me.
Shame is in the throat
that can’t swallow jokes;
I always choke.
I cough up seeds that give birth
to mountains, to forests, to small shrines
of little shames.
Shame is the fingerprints and scars
I left on my own arms; the way I used my skin
as a pillow to scream into.
Shame is the time lost
when, instead of shaming myself,
I could’ve gone hunting for monster hunters.