i remember hating myself,
filling journals to the brim with criticisms.
i used to spend time at the herb garden plucking mint leaves from their stems,
and in the branches of apple trees at the far end of the orchard, picking ripe ones.
i climbed as high as i dared to get them, muscles burning.
wiping my forehead with the hem of my shirt, standing on a branch,
when i licked my lips and looked at the next one.
then i had enough pages in my journal to use my bobbin and stitch them into wings,
to fly close enough to the sun,
to see my tears turn to steam,
to feel the wax burn on my shoulders and mold into thick skin.
i started to lift myself up, to put the other foot down, and the branch snapped.
a gasp escaped me as i pressed both palms to my chest.
i felt the monster of pain again,
writhing in the empty space in me.
then i wanted to die.
the monstrous pain had its claws around my throat,
i twisted and put my head between my knees,
when i finally found a solution.
figured if i cut my wrists enough gravity would let me go.
but i kept breathing until the strangled feeling left me.
because life is taking all of the love i could never give myself,
and putting it to good use.
so when i told you,
that you almost make life worth it, i was not joking.
when i tell you,
that you almost make me forget how much I hate myself,
it is not poetry.
it is reminding myself that if someone can care for the scars,
administer the pills,
absorb the bad moments,
then i can try to breathe again.
don’t hide because it will only cause pain.
i know this because i did it myself.
and i learned that just like a clean slate, everybody needs a new journal.