The Dark Side of Empathy

My family lost the civil war 

After running from another war 

I grew up learning arithmetic 

And about human insanity 

With unnecessary cruelty 

And as I grew into a young adult 

I painted canvases about pain 

Mimicking Picasso’s Guernica

Women and children being tortured 

Their rape the point 

I cultivated their pain until it become familiar 

I’d let myself take their place 

I thought it made their horrors 

Mean more than just nothing 

I was earnest but I didn’t know the price 

Of living in a life that wasn’t mine 

Someone else’s pain now lives in me 

Haunting me with heavy responsibility 

Outside of my actual influence 

So when I hear about pain in the world 

I take it and make it mine 

Even if its artificial, born in Hollywood 

Because my body can’t tell the difference

It all seems so unfair 

But what is fair? Its all fair 

I get to live a beautiful life

That is the life that is mine

We get what we get and nothing less

And maybe it is all unfair

Something feels fair in that, that’s fair

I’m about to be a mother 

I can feel the baby grow inside 

But how can life be born 

When I am torn? 

I’m not ready yet 

I am still so scared so I hide 

I don’t want to be a mother 

When I have all this pain trapped inside 

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Jess
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