Sit still with your lips sealed and your eyes covered. Your shoulders are tense. Your tongue is tied. You look so weak. Keep your palms open and wait for the world to decide your fate. Why does your chest refuse to let go of the breath sitting at the bottom of your lungs? Let it go. Let it curdle into a scream, a cry, a dry heave.
You weren’t meant to live like this. Wagging your tail for a hand that presents uncertainty while your mouth is covered with a muzzle and your neck is strangled by a leash. You were meant to scream into the sky and bare your sharp teeth. Let that breath go. Let it be what it was born to be. Show the world that you’re not as weak as it paints you to be. Show me that menacing smile. I know it’s scary to try. But would you rather continue sitting still, hoping for a chance to be the one extending the hand?
So, bite the hand. Make it dance. Paint it red. Listen as it sings that wretched song of pain. Hurry. Strike first. Before it beats you to it. You cannot live like this forever. Now, bare your teeth. Show me how scary you can be.
Lyssa Stevens @g.lyssa.s (she/her) is a current Swinburne student studying Creative Writing and Literature. Her piece “Bite the Hand” is about gaining the confidence to stand up for yourself and taking the path you want to take.