For a long time my body was a language I didn’t speak
I kept hoping someone could translate it
Kept hoping those needles could tell them something
Every week, regular as church, worshipping at an altar I didn’t fully comprehend I’d hold out my pale arm.
Cheery women in scrubs told me I could look away but I always thought I might miss something important
So every week I’d watch syringes fill with blood that looked too bright an alive to be mine
To belong to this sick kid with her hair up in a ponytail, no time to brush it anymore
For a long time my body was a cage I had to live in
And I couldn’t see past the bars
Couldn’t comprehend that someday this collection of organs could be an orchestra playing in harmony
My body was ropes holding me back, my body made my life a series
Cannot get out of bed in the morning.
For a long time, my body was the end of my story.
For a long time my body was public property, a place for what felt like a thousand doctors to analyze me, pick me apart,
Trying to find
where God had gone wrong
Where I’d been put together funny
For a long time
I wondered if I’d be tired forever.
But this is not a poem about
This is not a poem about being
because God makes no mistakes
This is a poem about a girl with long lean legs like young saplings
Wild hair that escapes its braid to float around her face
This is a poem about a girl who hiked the Andes, stood on mountains taller than the clouds
Who loves to walk in the rain
with no coat on,
just to feel it seep into her skin
Who loves to dance in
This is a poem about a girl who loves to study the high arches of her feet,
the crease where her hips meet her legs,
Her little bird hands, white belly, hourglass waist.
Who kisses her knees in yoga class, just so they know they are loved.
Who loves to fall asleep in somebody’s arms.
This is a poem about a girl turning into a woman,
Brushing her hair in the mirror
Putting on red lipstick and black eyeliner and blush the color of roses
Growing curvy and beautiful into the rest of her life
This is a poem about waking up and feeling strong, so strong.
This is a poem about having a future
About imagining without limitation
This is a poem about forgetting what pain feels like.
This is a poem about finding a home again.