How you handle those moments of fragility,

My incremental doses of vulnerability.

Well, that’s what says it all, isn’t it …


It’s not so much an unwritten test

As it is a natural progression of events.

Join me in deepening our bond

Perusing through what bridges our humanity

And by design, the discovery is set in stone.

A discovery that attests to what keeps our tethers weaved.


Is each string born out of convenience –

– An illusion – built on nothing but circumstance.

Do we tread the same path because the alternative

Would mean trekking this world alone?


Don’t be quick to judge people that guard their hearts

Most have just wisened up to the idea that it isn’t everyone

Who has your best interests at heart.


– It’s when I open up – taking the risk to show you my heart,

That I get to see, just how deep our bond can be  



Oh? – What’s that – oh, I’m just being sensitive? Right. Of course.

Apologies, I suppose my concerns are not valid then …. 

I suppose I never thought myself bound to the narrative of Equilibrium

So – just to be clear – not only do you offer unsolicited advice

You proceed to tell me how best to circumvent 

Something you have yet to experience.


“Apologies”, I say, it must be such an inconvenience

How I’m unable to laugh at your passive-aggressive jokes

“Apologies”, I say, “For not handling my emotions in such a ‘manly’ way”

After all, everyone knows,

The epitome of masculinity and emotional intelligence

Hinges on who can deliver the best robot impression.


My apologies, for pushing the veiled line marking my border

Allowing you to peer into my inner world,

Choosing to do so was certainly not a mistake – just a regret 

A regret that brings about a timely revelation,

A timely revelation that assures I adjust our bond accordingly

Don’t scorn. Seriously, it’s not your fault, 

How else would I have known not to be that vulnerable with you again? 


– O.D. ©2019


Art by: Ardoric-Art



12 Replies to “Vulnerability.”

  1. I really like this, opening up is VERY hard to do. I wonder if you have every felt a bond with someone and wanted so badly to show your feelings or open up, then when you do a little they do something that makes you run back in your shell? It’s a thin line between trying to be open and remain protected. Nice words here.

    1. Thank you 🙂 . I feel how other people handle your vulnerability speaks volumes. Some are quick to judge and some are quick to offer unsolicited advice. I find the best response is usually silence if you don’t have anything to offer. Offering advice only when asked and keeping an open mind. You’d be surprised how many people get a big head once they see your shield cracked, as if its some kind of achievement. When in truth that’s when the relationship starts, its not even the end lol 🙂

  2. For me, there is one impact of any art form which determines why I so strongly feel about aesthetics and there this other, more fierce, more brutal, vigilantly pulling your heartstrings like an untuned violin impact of an art form that just moves me, literally moves me.

    I cannot quote poetry about why the second impact is so meaningful to me because it is simply a feeling which poetry cannot elucidate. This poem of yours was that impact for me, Dante.

    I deeply empathise with your message. It is delivering two things, one, the unveiling of the vulnerability we as humans hide like a thief behind our gossamer masquerades and second, how mostly the men our prejudiced in the society for unveiling their emotional quotients and I am truly, madly and absolutely loved both of your messages.

    And, the ending just sneaked into my heart, made a home out of it. The fact that you don’t think it was a mistake to open to a person with whom the narrator felt safe to share his perceptions and emotions but a regret, a sigh, perhaps abandoning the narrator in the ocean of trust issues in the future, though it is just what I believe.

    The satire hits like a swift dart on the dartboard. Great Job by accentuating and playing around with verses to make it sound like a sarcastic apology.

    These lines were really what enraptured me.
    After all, everyone knows,

    The epitome of masculinity and emotional intelligence

    Hinges on who can deliver the best robot impression.

    Dante, this is my favourite piece of all your works until now.

    Enigma 🙂

    1. Thank you, Enigma ❤ . I always appreciate your comments, always so in-depth and insightful. The messages you denoted from the piece are definitely consistent with what I was going for.

      There's a medley of emotions and ideas explored but the main theme is very much vulnerability. Being vulnerable is always a risk, but its a risk worth taking when attempting to connect with others. Now whether those people handle it poorly or not, we shouldn't feel bad but be happy in knowing we dodged a bullet. Its a terrible feeling relying on someone who does not have your back.

      I grew up around a military presence and I feel most of my life was governed by "being a man" and "toughening up" and not "being sensitive". Funny enough, anyone who says these things to me, I keep them at arms length because they don't understand the far-reaching implications of what they are saying. I come across as sensitive because I wholly invest myself in the moment, I choose my words carefully and in a bid to be authentic I voice whatever gives me displeasure but never as an insult. I share what I feel with respect, as every human is deserving of it on a fundamental level. But when someone dismisses you on the notion that you "didn't get it" or that you're being "too sensitive" well, its just another form of gaslighting.

      Its not so much a process of making people adhere to my terms as it is a mutual understanding of what lines not to cross. Showing some semblance of understanding is way better than being dismissive in my humble opinion.

      By the way, did you hear the shout-out I gave you in the recording of my last post 🙂 lol

      1. The pleasure is always mine to read your works, Dante. To be honest, these stereotypical gender role themes should be spoken quite often and expressed by artists and people who truly believe in equality to change it in their own artistic way!

        It is very insulting to say it to anyone that you are “too sensitive”. The concept of vulnerability would not even exist if humans were not a judgmental species. But alas! It does exist and such prejudices should be spoken out more often.

        And, Damn! I just checked out your audio recording. I listened to the first half of it earlier when you posted. It talked about the series you did called, “Reasons”. So, I thought why not read that first. But I now I listened to the full recording and I would like to express my gratitude for your kind words and I am honestly looking forward to work on a project with you soon! Say, after 15-20 days? I am quite busy this month. I hope you don’t have any problem with that!

        Thank you so much for the shout-out. I really connect with what you say about making other’s smile (the anecdote you shared with a student, if I am not mistaken) and us sharing quite a similar vision about poetry and writing styles. It will be a true joy to work with you!

        Hope you have a good day!
        Keep Writing!

        Enigma 🙂

  3. Ah yes…that “manly way” of opening up , dealing with emotions, admitting to having emotions….. I really hope we ( men and women) can get over this hurdle. The man I love and have lived with for the last 35 years cries openly, and expresses all sorts of emotions and that is why I fell for him in the first place. Thank you for a wonderful piece of writing O.D.

    1. Thank you Anne. I certainly hope the prejudice finds itself further and further away from me. I personally have no patience for it, I’ve never been a fan of gender roles as I feel that limits potential. I would rather someone does what they want rather than it be a pre-determined role.

  4. “You’re too sensitive”? Hah! That is so like saying, “You’re too intelligent”. Who on earth says “you’re too intelligent” or “you’re too sensitive” and has a clue what they are talking about?

    Indeed, sensitivity can be treated as a form of intelligence, can it not? After all what does it mean to be “sensitive”? Does it mean you notice things? And what does it mean to be smart? Isn’t a big part of being smart noticing things?

    I grew up in a small Midwestern town. In many ways, a wonderful place. But — not the sort of place one would naturally go to learn the full range of how to be a man. Midwestern culture tries to truncate men. Chop off their emotional range.

    I love certain “traditional” masculine traits. They’re great traits for both men and women to cultivate. Stuff like not making excuses for being yourself. That sort of thing. They teach that just fine in small Midwestern towns. But I’m telling you — there is so much they do not teach about being an adult, being a man.

    I love how your poetic style seems to be deepening, becoming richer, more complex — without losing its power.

    1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Paul. I always feel calling people sensitive is being dismissive of an issue. It is also important to remember there are toxic forms of sensitivity. Sensitivity under the pretext of manipulation and all that lol but that’s a conversation for another time.

      Thank you for the compliment regarding my writing. I hope it continues to grow still 🙂

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