to the girls afraid of dying
I know that look.
I know what it means to be that kind of starving—
to fling open your arms and dare the sky
to meet you.
I know the fear of the sky
I do not know you, but I know you.
He is all false compliments, he is all hands.
But your hips are not an oasis, made for him
to come and drink.
Though his hands seem to sink in
to the sand dunes of your skin, your body
is not a desert.
You will believe him when he says
this is all you have to offer.
You were never sand dunes.
You were the sea.
Cut off all your hair.
Trade in your lion’s mane for a crown
of your darkest secrets.
Wear it like the proudest thing you’ve ever loved.
Learn to love the soft prickle of the short hairs
at the nape of your neck.
Touch them softly.
Learn to love yourself, next.
The bed is yours.
Do not ache for him just because
he tried to make a home in it.
The train is coming and you are in it.
The train is coming and you are on the tracks.
You have to make a decision, baby.
Sure, the train has smoke and steel and pistons,
but you are taller,
can find your way back.
— TO THE GIRLS AFRAID OF DYING, by Ashe Vernon (via latenightcornerstore)