I put myself down

sitting smaller after words from my own mouth

tumbled like rocks onto my own head.

I put myself down

so you wouldn’t have to–

having learned early if the insults would come

better from myself than anyone else.

Shrinking, inflated, making a joke of myself

before you could slip in, undercut, diminish.

Having grown up to be little

must break

at some point.

That point is now,

and I take it back.

I didn’t think I was special,

I knew I was.