6-minute poem: 23, again

[6-minute draft]
(cn: brief allusion to ideation/suicide)

3 years past 23, I wrote a poem
on leaving behind our bodies
too much pain to swallow
like our pride
or a handful of pills

two times that much time later
I am still here,
struggling to stay

though my body
feels more and more like mine
other eyes forget
that it is a home
seek to strip it bare
their staring eyes
paint strippers
ripping away
the layers of protection,
safety,
wholeness

I have gathered for myself
been gifted from my comrades,
& been gifted by comrades,
received from healers
(those who remember how to see me)

I am here still
protecting my heart
it is the greatest gift I have
and I wear it, armor
its openness is also
the greatest gift and weapon

my gender feels like
a rib cage
just enough cracks
for the love to pour through

at 23 I worried
about what your eyes
your words
might do to me

at 28, 29, 30, 31, I wondered
if your wrong words
could make me forget myself
if you calling me
by my wrong name
over and over
and once more over again

might act like a spell,
incantation,
an invitation to forget

that my home is here
in this body
that I was given,
that I have chosen to keep

your words
are just that
and I have the power
to shut up my windows
and close the door

and crank up the volume of my sacred heartbeat
I am here, and
excuse you
you are not welcome in my home
and I cannot hear you over
the brilliance of my being

[I took 6 minutes to write a piece — strikethroughs are edits I made just now (pretty much immediately after) before posting.

been gifted from my comrades,
healers

was edited to:
& been gifted by comrades,
received from healers

experimenting with daily poetry and flash writing. trying to post more. and also to do more writing that’s just for me.]

 

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