“of course, baby”

I ask you if you think I am

beautiful,

and I hate every word before it

leaves my mouth.

I hate the way my body

speaks in insecurities,

the way your words are a

blanket I know I need.

“of course, baby”

I love this sentence just as

much as I hate it.

I hate my need for it,

my requirement of it for

safety within my own

goddamn body.

And so I hold my breath,

and bring my gaze to my own legs,

smiling slightly,

trying.

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traumatized

you tell me I am too

nice

to you,

and I kiss you

gently,

for I will not punish you

for the parts of you that

bleed, or the

corners of your skin that

scream with trauma you

are still learning to

admit,

for I am not,

will not be,

your judgement day.

dia del padre

I remember the way it

felt when I had my first

girlfriend.

I didn’t have the courage to

tell you that I loved another

woman and so I let mami

tell you instead.

I remember the way I

climbed into the car and

squirmed into the seat beside

you.

I remember the way I

didn’t know what sounds would

drape the silence between

us.

I remember the way you

held my hand.

I remember the way you

healed me then.

I remember all the times

you’ve healed me,

papi.

When I asked you to

drive with me forever,

forever meaning only hours,

and you did.

When I told you I

was crumbling and you

taught me to handle

the weight.

When you told me I could

call you, always.

When you loved me.

When you always loved me,

no matter what.

You have healed me,

papi.

You have always

healed me.