I’m not particularly afflicted with altruism.
I’m mostly self-absorbed;
A picky sponge greedily saturated
with my own feelings and existence.
When others leak their emotions near me
I harden and shrink from the contamination.
You see, as a child,
I was drenched in the perceptions and pain of others.
So full was I of you or he or them
there wasn’t a pore I could reserve for me.
I didn’t realize I had the choice
to reject participating in
another being’s emotional experience.
When I grew up
I learned things.
I dried out.
Then each drippity drop of
of my own conscious thought became precious.
I erected unrepentant boundaries,
Stringently guarded, violently enforced.
Raised in a world of black and white,
at first I vacillate between extremes.
A curious pendulum of consciousness am I;
Wide arcs decreased by degrees of wisdom,
Pendant pulled still by the gravity of time.
I mostly inhabit the middle now until
Fear or discomfort gives me a push.
It’s difficult to be something
between impermeable and an open border.
I still err towards self-preservation.
Though the door between us rests shut,
if you dare to knock
I will always answer.