I balanced
my kindness
on the tips of
outstretched fingers,
so ready to give
all that I have
in exchange
for one smile.
We can not always
reach who we hope;
they slip as easy
as dried leaves
crushed under foot.

Some friendships
should always be
kept at arm’s length.

I pulled you in.
Let you crawl beside me,
inside me; I showed you
a different version of my face.
One so few have taken
the time to embrace.

My dearest friend,
you left blisters on my
fingertips, fresh and soft.
It will be days before
the flesh bursts and peels,
and callous forms.
They may never return to
the pink they were before
I first touched you.

Tonight, my hands ache,
and all I want
is to feel kindness
I never claimed
but always deserved.