getting ready

I am watching myself

in the mirror,

watching

the way my body no

longer tenses when it

sees itself,

watching

the way I’ve almost

begun to feel

safe,

watching

but not quite feeling

yet.

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“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.

selfish heroism

I walk in to an empty house –
the first time in a long time that the space around me promises its vacancy.
This is hard to grasp hold of as lately any company feels empty.

I do the things I know to do but do them meaninglessly.
I scrub my body clean,
let the hot water sink in,
slip it into cleaner clothing.

Checkmarks on a checklist but nothing more than this.

And then it is time to dry my hair.
So I sit cross-legged in front of this pain inducing mirror –
the first time in a long time that I sit face to face with my own reflection.

This is when I feel it.

I feel the ache in my bones,
the stabbing in my chest,
the soreness of muscles that are tired from lifting the world onto them.


So I look into the eyes that stare back at me –
the pain in them much too hard to realize.
I look at her and whisper,

“You are strong.
You are beautiful.

Look at the things you’ve created,
the people you’ve loved,
the things you’ve done.

You are determined, a fighter –
growing beyond even the things you know of. 

You are magnificent

And I swore that in that moment she lifted her chin higher,
and thanked me.