1. When you are a broken thing somehow

even love begins to seem monstrous

abrupt and gruesome

cruel and stripped

and you

are a mud-streaked dusky thing

you belong to the swampland

you belong to the muck of mother’s wounds

and he —

the world echoes ‘not enough’

and you pursue goodness like

the world fill fold goodness into your hands like

good will spill between your fingers as liquid like

his smiles can be bought with the coin of your misery like

there is a reason why, and that reason

is saving him

saving him is reason enough

you are the enemy

seems true and to the point

you are the monster

truth black as coal and you clung to it

you hated the dark

the way you were taught to do, you

thought he would hate the dark in you too

2. Dear girl

he will teach you how to shine, one day

stop moping

sullen girl was ’90s era hot

for not so white not so thin girls

who white boys wanted to fuck for free

give up being a girl who lets just anyone take

you are becoming someone who is worth

what you always wanted to be worth don’t

throw away what you can’t stand to lose don’t

insist you are stone you are

not stone you are two arms one heart

he is wrong about the direction desire flows

you know “the root of magic is in the heart”

you know desire is magic

you know everything you need to

3. Keep writing adolescent poetry

and singing in your own witchy room with

the steepled ceilings and your goddess statues and

woman’s body candles you are

swimming towards your own fairy island stop

fighting

the dark angel inside of me is

my favorite angel

stop wrestling, stop in-between standing

stop stopping when you want to move

he is not a thing you want to own

give when you are afraid to give

be soft when you think hardness is called for

let someone see the burnt fragmented parts

underneath the ash is something waiting to be reborn

it is not your job to hold her back

it is not your job to hold onto her

it is your job to be the shell she breaks as she rises

“don’t be afraid to let yourself go”

and when the time comes

when the time comes

love

because you want to

love

3. There is no easy answer

but also?

the darkness is the answer

Writes all the things. Photographs the light. Smiles at odd moments. Reads in the shower. Sings to the trees. Hopes a lot.

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