when you find her, she is curved-spine crumpled in a bathtub, broken song trapped under her tongue, face a crumpled mascara run.
you get her home. you tuck her under the covers your grandmother knit. they smell like lilacs. you don’t sleep here. you curl up in the corner of a public library. you are nocturnal tenancies, you are twilight awakening. your afternoon comes at three in the morning.
you come back and gentle-help her, quiet hands offering first bar of soap and then thick towel and then small breakfast she won’t eat.
you are simple ways. you do not give her your phone number, you are steady-get-to-know-her. the months pass and you do not pressure. you are lightweight, you are heather.
the bags under your eyes get thicker. you are so tired but you know nothing of rest.
on a broken-glass night too loud for your silence, she kisses you while she’s too drunk to talk herself out of it. you politely decline, you leave the room, you go to a cold rocky beach, you sit there while the water laps at your feet.
it is raining and she is happy and she is curled up in your lap and this time when she kisses you, you are royalty, you are crown, you are thick coats and desperate voices, the two of you are scrambling for purchase in each other’s skin, you are leaving happy bruises, you are soft moans and laughter and every time you touch her, you marvel at her.
later when you curl up beside her and breathe in the smell of her hair, you are floating, you are iris petal. she has cracked you open and found the only beautiful parts of you left. she makes you feel as if you are complete.
you lie there, listening to her breathe. for the first time in forever, you finally drift off to sleep.
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
BIG WAVE COMING: bold face font, you are curves and you are not afraid to flaunt.
You are sick of bullies, of bad memories, of flinching. You have already been rolled over and ran over and left empty.
No more of this. You are stormcloud lungs and selkie hands and proud as hell of shark-sharp teeth. You had to be scarred to get here. This treasure should be yours to keep.
To hell with small-boat boys and shallow-water girls. You are the unexplored, you are cold, and you will no longer be moved by their words.
She is a small fish and you are entire-ocean and you know she would become another’s lunch. You are protector dragon, you are center-of-the-fire, you are bruised knuckles and bright nights, you will not let her become leftover whiskey and somebody’s wet dream.
You try to teach her how to be less shadow and more the warmth you find hidden in her bloodstream. You show her the veins in your arm and how they’re still pulsing. You could be death, could be end, could be mourning.
You are instead berries and smooth jazz and jaybird, you have finally taught yourself to have so much to live for. You want to spill over your edges with hugs and with passion, you want to bring joy, you want to grasp moon and turn tides and bring change to this earth: a flooding of intense and glorious self-worth.
You fought demons to be where you are, you will not simply hand over the key to your heart. You are hard gemstone, and darling, you glow. You don’t need to be told that you’re beautiful. You already know.
You’ve spent your whole life fighting for your soul. You were the only one who saw castle where others saw hole.