When I look at my body, I don’t see perfection or imperfection.
There are places where my skin is milky soft, smooth, and unmarked.
And, there are other parts of me that look as though they have been engraved, as if it took many years and labors of great love and tragedy to carve this particular masterpiece.
In the inflammation, I see textures and colors.
Inflamed patches of cracked, dry skin.
These pieces of me weave a story yearning to be heard.
And, voices never truly given the permission to speak.
Little spots of incongruence,
Representing parts of myself where truth has yet to be fully liberated.
I have learned to love these parts and pieces of me that have been ignored,
That I tried so hard to desperately hide.
The way my stomach folds and bulges.
The way I’ve pulled
My pants up,
Belly sucked in,
Trying with all my might to become
I tried so hard to disappear.
To erase what I was always told shouldn’t be there if I wanted to be
I have had to learn to love my “stretch-marks.”
They live as a reminder of the ways in which I have had to stretch and expand to grow into the person I am today.
I have learned to love my hair.
And, not just the hair that cascades in explosive shock waves and curls down my head, neck, and back.
The soft, silky, baby fur that runs down my inner thighs and dusts my legs.
The coarse, unruly, wiry hair that erupts from my mound and fertile valleys.
And, the stray hairs that now sprout unexpectedly in places previously unwanted.
Reminding me that I am a living breathing organism,
Just like the earth itself.