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Aug 2020
when I speak sometimes I wish I could catch the words in the air and hold their fluttering-stabbing-twisting in my cupped hands and reshape them into what I meant to say, into something that would brush the shell of your ear softly instead of slip through your fourth and fifth ribs.

I hope it isn’t too forward of me to say that I don’t think that things can be broken. that is to say, that I don’t think broken things cannot be their own whole. everything is pieces of other things, fitting together like a child first learning how to put a puzzle together and forcing the pieces to go where they want and be whatever they choose.

I don’t know if that metaphor makes any sense to you, but I hope you can understand what I’m getting at anyway.

hurt doesn’t define you. your past isn’t a rope around your neck. my love is not conditional upon some arbitrary state of “wholeness.”

there is such a thing as wellness, yes, and I want that for you, for us, but that does not always mean returning to the state of self you inhabited before your pain. the human being is an ephemeral, ever-changing creature, and I will not love you less if I have to meet you again.

if I have to rediscover you as you heal, then I will. if I have to show you how I have refused my splintered pieces into a new shape myself, then I will.

I will love you gladly, unconditionally, vulnerably.

do you understand me? I have a scar on the inside of my thigh, but I don’t remember where it’s from. I have tiny, scattered patches along the underside of my jaw from when I’d pick at uneven skin. I have accumulated all sorts of scratch-thin, white lines across the backs of my hands and my forearms. stretch marks dash in lightning patterns under my clothes. do you think less of me for them?

I can be harsh like a blunt-force weapon when my attention slips, my shoulders a bastion of defensive tension, all sharp lines and a diamond-hard glint in storm-grey eyes. do you think this makes me ungentle? do you think I cannot form myself into a shelter if I so desired?

despite my rough-hewn edges and whip-like tongue, I’d like to think I can provide some sort of comfort, some level of reliability.

you don’t have to be soft, my love, but I find that sometimes it pays to be kind.

once I saw you sitting in the park, fingers buried so deep in the tangled grass it looked like you were trying to take root.

it takes a certain kind of perspective, I think, to listen to things like trees. individual pillars, yes, but connected at the roots. isn’t that like what we are supposed to be? bound at the core with enough self-governance to reach for the sky, the wind and sunlight tangled within our reach.

you don’t need to worry about being enough for me. you will always be enough.

Hannah Marr
Written by
Hannah Marr  19/F/Canada
   Imran Islam
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