Don’t Call Me A Flower

I am not a flower.

My value does not lie in my beauty. I do not wither when plucked from my home. My roots are not shallow and delicate.

I am a tree. I am strong, durable, a pivotal force. My roots extend deep into the earth, twisting and twirling just as my history does. My past has helped me grow powerful and tall, the queen of my forest. I may shed my leaves each season and become bare and vulnerable, but don’t fret. I will revive, stronger and more beautiful than before. Please, pick off my bark, try and chop me down.

I may not fill vases, but I can start fires. I can burn and I can scream.

So please, don’t call me a flower. Don’t diminish me to a fragile, pretty piece of earth. I am a tree. I am astounding and noble and engaging. Life courses through my veins and futures begin where my leaves fall.

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An Open Letter to my Love-no-Longer

Dear love-no-longer,

My heart has perked up upon letting your image wander back into my thoughts. It’s been forever, or at least it feels that way. Have the seasons already cycled through twice since the first time we met? There was a fire between us. Instantly we connected that night, and we proved that connection in the best way we knew how- physically.

I have no regrets that our love story began that way. We connected tangibly, and I hoped it would be a matter of time until our minds and spirits followed suit. You found a home inside of me, and I thought my happiest breaths were inhaled while intertwined with you.

I let myself love you. I let myself love every piece of you, every broken piece. I let the hard parts of myself melt at your touch, I let my heart thaw for you.

But you did not love me.

As I lay awake, envisioning our love in rosy hues, you saw me in muted grays and browns. You liked me, I know you did. You tolerated me, you were amused by me, you were attracted to me. But you did not feel the passionate blaze I felt for you. You did not have the selfless yearning to please me the way I did for you.

So I started to fall out of love with myself.

You never called me pretty, and I started to doubt my own beauty. You never called me dazzling nor brilliant nor inspiring, and the light drained from my eyes.

Instead, you called me crazy, masking it a term of endearment. You called me cool and nice and ok. You constricted your tongue to mediocrity and I believed it all. I folded myself into smaller and smaller pieces, until I was ultimately the size of the minute being you thought me to be.

I shrunk smaller and smaller until I could no longer restrain my natural vigor. I finally realized that it was time to fall in love with the most important person in my life- me.

I began to be dazzling and brilliant and inspiring. I deflected all the wasted love I had for you back to myself. As my heart drained itself of the poison your plainness had injected, it refueled on bright golden and crimson sparks, the colors of passion.

I treated myself with tenderness and care, just as I had always longed for you to do. I showed myself a deeper affection than you were ever capable of.

And as I fell more in love with myself, I fell out of love with you. You, the boy who had been my north star. The boy who synchronously gave me everything and nothing. The boy who did not destroy me all at once, but instead took pieces and pieces of me away until I was a mangled skeleton of myself.

I am in love with myself. You may have been my love once, but you are most definitely my love-no-longer.

– A strong, astounding, incredibly complete version of myself

You Are Not Allowed to Ignore Me

You sparked a shiver in my heart that demanded to be felt

 

You infected her with your kind words,

Your contagious laugh,

Your inimitable view of the world

 

She was entranced

So she timed her beat to syncopate up with yours.

 

And relentlessly she begged me, so I poured time and affection into you

As if you were a flower, fighting for the sun

 

I wanted to experience your beauty

I wanted to inspire your beauty

I wanted to live up to your beauty

 

So no, you are not allowed to ignore me

Now that you are in full, astonishing bloom

 

You are not allowed to ignore me

Now that I have withered from the drought of pouring all my love into you

 

You are not allowed to ignore me

After my heart had to relearn to beat at her own pace

 

You are not allowed to ignore me

When you made it impossible for me to notice anything but you.

 

s.f.b

Today I Will Start to Heal

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I will turn my face towards the sun and embrace its warmth, bright and burning with passion

Today, I will still think of you, your soft lips and your wicked arms

That entangled me, holding me hostage in your care

 

But today, I will not cry.

I will not succumb to the wretched jolts in my stomach, those that climax into sobs

I will not dream of your body in pinky-white hues

 

No.

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I will think of you in simple black and white

Just as you were my everything and nothing all at once

Today, I will honor the wretched jolts in my stomach, those that climaxed into sobs

The sobs that you tempted

Today, I will remember the times I set myself on fire just so you could feel warm

Or the times I contorted myself into knots so that I could fit into your pocket,

Diminishing my magnitude to be at your slight, beautiful size.

 

Today, I will remember the darkness that poisoned my spirit

That dark cloud of smoke you drove into my being, greedily engulfing and shielding my light

 

Today, I will start to heal.

Today, I am generating my own warmth.

Today, I am the sun. I am whole and I am bright and I am burning with passion.
Today, I am the center of my own universe.

 

Tomorrow, I will continue to heal.

Pretty Face (and so much more)

“Wow, you have such a pretty face!”

Pretty freckles, pretty smile, pretty hair

But apparently, on me, “pretty” only applies from the neck up

Because I have curves:

I have breasts, I have hips, I have thighs…

I have a stomach.

And to your eyes, that makes me damaged

An outlier in society, a charity case

The “fat” girl.

 

My weight has defined and contorted my character into forms I never chose.

Suddenly I’m expected to be the comedic relief

I’m expected to be the nice girl who’s always there for everyone else

I’m the exceptional friend who’s loyal and true

Because god-forbid I’m fat AND a bitch

 

Oh no, it’s as if I must EARN the presence of skinny people in my life

By being the token fat friend and living up to the itty-bitty size-2 box they try to force me into.

 

And when we hang out,

I can watch lustily as they gulf down cookies and sweets without a care

But when I want a treat, it’s always challenged

“Are you really going to eat that?”

 

Are YOU really going to eat that?

Since when did my eating habits become the concern of anyone else but me?

 

It’s because in our society, taking up more space only earns you a tighter set of expectations

Constricting you, strangling you, until you’re less than what you are, less than what you can be.

 

Eventually, your potential is quelled and your fire extinguished

When you start believing that the double digit number printed on the tag of your jeans is a stronger indicator of who you are, of what you stand for, than the thoughts blooming in your mind and the words escaping from your lips.

Losing weight, essentially working to diminish the rare amount of you on this earth, becomes your only goal.

 

Get good grades. Watch my calories. Find a decent job. Get to a gym 5 times a week. Start a family. And what if my children end up looking like me?

 

When you’re fat, you’re expected to put the rest of your life on the backburner. But I’m not about that life. I’m over it.

 

I’m a size 14. Extra Large. Plus size.

And you know what? You’re welcome.

It only means that there is that much more of me to go around

There is an extra amount of love in my heart

And a surplus of the character I choose for myself

A greater capacity for the knowledge I’m thirsting for

And a whole lot more woman, if ya know what I mean.

 

I may be large, but I’m pretty. Head to toe, and everything in between. Just as uniquely pretty as any girl thinner than me or any girl larger. My stretch marks and round stomach might not be everyone’s image of beauty, just as blonde hair or a flat chest aren’t universally ideal.

 

We’re human. We come in different shapes, sizes, colors. Each and every one of us is genetically different, an exclusive fingerprint on this earth. How dare we challenge a person’s physical appearance and accuse them of not being pretty, solely because of the number printed on a tag?

 

We are all beautiful, even me.

Forgetting

Sometimes I forget why I am in love with him. 

 

The distance blurs my memory

Of the sleepless nights we shared

And the “I love you”s that swelled with meaning

And the times his voice melted my pain away.

 

It selfishly steals away the rare times

I felt beautiful.

He made me feel worthwhile

And opened me up to feeling things

 

But my memory is stronger than our circumstance

Our hearts beat louder than the ticking clock

And I remember why

I

Am

In

Love

With

Him. 

Once

Have we once met?

I just can’t remember

I’ve burned our shattered memories

And lent them to the quiet heat of embers

But a profound yet tender scar still remains

And I struggle so hard to remember your name

Is this really the place where you once claimed your love?

I’m trying so hard to conjure it up

All the frenzied debris of secrets we shared

Implode in my mind; did you really once care?

 

Oh no, please stop, the wound’s open again

I’m recalling those honest messages we’d sent

But honest, this word, does it still hold its truth

When I no longer am worth anything to you?

How lovely it must be to so simply forget

When the lies escaped from your own throat and the malice flew from your own head

Were you always this wicked? Were you always this cruel?

I once so ardently believed I meant something to you

 

But today is today, and the past is the past

I can accept you have chosen your individual path

So I stitch myself up, as I’ve done time and again

And return to forgetting that you were once ever my friend.

Control

As the reigning dominant species in this world (lol), we’re lucky enough to be able to control a lot of what happens in our lives.

We control where we live. We control who our friends are. We control what we believe in. We control which parts of this earth we treasure, and which we destroy.

Hell, we’ve even taken to adopting animals so we can control them.

One of the few things we can’t control, however, are our emotions.

In my own life, there are a lot of feelings I wish I could control. For example, I wish I didn’t fall in love with a man who lives in another country. I wish I didn’t feel hurt so easily over mundane things. I wish I wouldn’t cry every time someone of authority talks to me, even if they’re only expressing a compliment.

So often, I just wish I had the ability to dull my emotions. Other times, I wish I could make myself feel more. 

It’s like, I’ve come to terms with the things I can’t control: time, other people, etc. However, I just wish I could be in control of every aspect of my own body and personality.

Hands

Strong, muscular hands, calloused by the boyish undertakings of sports and guitar playing. Hands with long fingers, capable of anything. They are so skilled yet so dangerous.

My mom dropped me off, and, as soon as she exited, those hands were upon me, drawing me in. Soon, we are kissing, and soon those hands are leading me into the bedroom. His fingers are long and perpetually reaching, reaching for more. His hands give way to arms that are both skinny and muscular—a solid indication of the rest of his physique.

In retrospect, I think I mistook his abundance of confidence as the complement to my lack of the same quality. Within weeks of talking to him, I was hooked, and he had me wrapped around his long bony finger. And, he knew it. I had known that day that his hands would be upon me. We were 16 and had to plan these things out, after all.

I didn’t know how I should be feeling. I didn’t know why within seconds his hands were upon my breasts, and why he so angrily reacted when I asked him to slow down. I didn’t know if this was normal pace, I didn’t know what I was doing when he intertwined his fingers around mine and pushed them down to his pants. I didn’t know why he became so upset when I hesitated. And then, in shocking clarity, his hands were caressing my head with astonishing force behind the touch. A motive. A goal. He begins to push my head down toward his crotch, expecting me to comply. I yearn for my mind to go absent, but I can still fully comprehend what is happening. I ball my own hands into fists and, compelled by this subconscious act of strength, writhe my way out of his grasp. He is angry, he is yelling.

To this day, the first thing I notice whenever I see him is the placement of his hands. They are still strong. His fingers are still long and perhaps even more skilled, as I’ve understood from the idle handshakes we offer each other as our sole form of interaction.

 

Today I got rid of the dress.

I didn’t burn it. I didn’t rip it to shreds. I didn’t spit on it.

I simply tossed it aside with all the other withering pieces of fabric I decided to part with today.

Just as you tossed me aside time and time again.

With the disposal of this dress, I am cleansing myself from the unwavering control over me you’ve spoiled yourself with these past three years.

Three years. Three years of my life devoted to a boy who couldn’t spare me three minutes of his time.

When I throw out this dress, I am also throwing away your handprint that has stayed like a ghost on my shoulder all this time. I am throwing away all the faulty “I love you”s and broken claims of devotion.

I am throwing away that horrible time that was supposed to be the best day of my life. The day you instructed me to wear the dress so that you could take it off of me. The day, representative of so many others when I so easily let you control me because I thought you had a right to. I thought that’s what love meant.

I am throwing away the night we shared 3 years later. Once again you had requested that I wear the dress. But this time I didn’t give you the satisfaction.

And once more, you tossed me aside.

I am throwing away the dress that has been stationed in my closet for all these years. A dress that once represented beauty and hope, but later carried so many treacherous memories I couldn’t part with until now.

I am parting with the constant buzz of your voice in my head, just as my dress has remained a constant option in my closet.

I am parting with the bad dreams and the panic attacks.

I am parting with you.

So goodbye to the dress, goodbye to your disgusting rule over me, and goodbye to a closed chapter of my life.