Hate Speech

Stranger conversations have been overheard by
Passersby
But hearing those words
Uttered into the night
Sent a bolt straight down
My spine

That such darkness can clog
The human heart
Is no great wonder
To me

But to be
The unintended recipient
Of such fleeting
Enmity
Is something no amount
Of preparedness can
Cushion

Just as no amount of
Armor
Can safeguard a soul’s fragility
From being
Publicly flogged by an
Invisible whip

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