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there are times when life requires that you fight,
that you wake ready for battle,
ready to flip-flop and rearrange for perspective,
to reach to uncharted depths for motivation,
to forage for ribbons of hope

it’s a war of sorts, this fight,
one where there are no winners –
there’s only the return home

so, you find a way to fight,
and fight

and one day, you wake up,
ready for the fight,
and you realize that, somehow,
you’re stronger,
softer,
certain about the one thing that matters most amidst the continual uncertainty

you wake up,
and you realize you’ve altered old patterns,
and that even when you were exhausted,
you showed up for yourself,
and you hadn’t even noticed

you realize that, once again,
you’ve made it home to yourself,
like you have so many times before

-image via Tumblr

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Tattooed

people sometimes wonder, ‘why?,’
as if there has to be something deeply meaningful behind every one,
or that each must be some random, attention-seeking act

but it is much more:
I give homage

I give homage to this wondrous machine,
and choosing talented artists who produce remarkable art allows me to be a part of a magical creative process,
it allows me to take agency with myself,
with my body,
with the imperfect skin that houses me

I give homage to this wondrous machine by adorning it with something synergetic and timeless and beautiful,
by making it feel a little more like home

I give homage to this wondrous machine,
for, every inch of it is mine

Reverence

something had shifted,
they could both feel it;
it hung in the air,
an energy circulating the room that neither could ignore

it was as if they’d been in the dark,
just out of reach of one another for far too long,
the reverberation between them reminding them why they were here,
why they’d always been
right here

impassioned, something deep inside him stretched out and curled around her like a shawl,
his finger reaching up to move the curls from her face so he could see directly into her eyes,
and he kissed her,
all of her,
even the parts they’d both been afraid of,
and he didn’t let go

and she let him,
her fingers careful and deliberate as she undid the buttons of his shirt,
her body following whatever her heart desired,
wherever this energy took them,
allowing him to see her,
needing to see him too

they touched each other gently, at first,
as if it was the first time they’d been together,
and that was true, really –
they touched with no expectation,
with no pretense,
with all they had to offer,
and receiving with an openness that had taken all these years to find

they noticed everything,
every shiver and tingle and gasp,
each curve and freckle and goosebump

they noticed their bodies were older, now;
she gripped muscles that weren’t as strong as they used to be,
kissed the wrinkled lines reaching out from the corners of his eyes,
and he traced the silver scars from childbirth weaving a patchwork across her abdomen,
cupped breasts that had become much more malleable –
it was all a part of their story,
a story they wished to tell with the lights on

so they touched in fevered fingertips,
with an urgency that rose from a depth they’d not once known –
they no longer had to be careful of one
another –
they had a reverence for their fragility,
but knew they’d never break

-image via Tumblr

Cultivating

the stress and heartache,
one thing after another in a combination of knock-out punches,
had nearly broken them,
yet here they were

it was a familiar place,
this raw place of survival,
one they’d been to before in their years together –
it is inevitable if you spend enough time building a life together

it was a place of choice;
a place where you can choose to hide or choose to be,
a place of past, present, and future at once,
where, if you’re ready, you offer up pieces of yourself with abandon,
in both fear and freedom,
where you grasp for humility and strength,
where, when you do,
you break free to someplace other,
a place only achieved when you’ve dug and excavated,
when you’ve both buried that which is no longer useful and unearthed something new,
something more

yet, that newness has roots that have burrowed so deeply in fertile soil,
it’s destined to reach for the sun
and weather the most viscous storms

she knew love is a conscious choice,
that it is cultivated and it’s hard work –
she never expected white horses,
nor did she need them,
but she could never have predicted the depth of the heartache and what it required of her soul

what she did know was that she was grateful to be here with him,
heart aching,
soul-searching,
burying and unearthing,
laying roots;
cultivating

reaching for the sun

-image via Pinterest

Fragile

it was a day like any other over the past 10 years:
making lunches, serving breakfast,
a 10 hour work day, drained and running on empty,
crossing one thing after another off an endless to-do list,
making the dinner and doing the dishes,
folding the laundry,
too few smiles,
forced hugs,
unspoken and misunderstood resentments,
layered one upon the other and set in mortar,
a brick wall seemingly too tall to scale,
treading water in a sea so seemingly vast and deep,
she knew she couldn’t go on treading forever

she didn’t care to –
she knew it was time to chip and chisel,
time to dive,
deep

and after her shower at the end of the day,
she sat on the edge of the bed, restless,
fed up,
tired of the cycle on repeat, repeat,
lost, yet grasping at the first threads of found,
looking at herself in the mirror,
seeing

in that moment,
she realized how fragile happiness is,
how, if you’re careless,
you can walk right past it,
how it’s possible to love so hard and hope so much,
and end up with nothing,
nothing that really matters

and she wasn’t going to let that happen

-image via Tumblr

Weight of the Moon

the soft glow peeking through the horizontal shades is somehow non-linear,
and I close my eyes,
sinking into the infinite shadows,
the weight of the moon taking residence inside me

I shiver,
a foreshadowed shiver,
one of cozy, downy feathers,
of curves and entwined limbs and warm whispers,
of puzzle-pieced pockets of warmth,
of you,
sliding in next to me

it’s so peaceful here,
in the shadows

here, I’m home;
I am the soft side of something strong,
the warmth of something fierce,
half of some crazy energy I can’t quite explain –
something as strong and as tranquil as the weight of the moon

-image via Flickr

Mesmerized

she was mesmerized;
there was something about him that pulled her to him the way a diamond holds the light

he was down-to-earth,
funny,
compassionate

but it was much more than that –
he was quiet, yet confident,
passionate,
humble

he wasn’t afraid to show her how much he adored her,
wasn’t afraid to make a decision,
wasn’t afraid to fail

he wasn’t afraid to share of himself,
to be honest and hear honesty,
to say ‘I’m sorry’ when things went wrong

he made her feel safer than she’d ever felt,
and that made him sexier than anyone she’d ever met

-image via Pixabay

Bruised

he was all teeth and muscle,
blades of white pinching at her gooseflesh,
sharp intakes of air heaving and leaving in labored gasps and moans,
his warm wetness closing in around the sting,
sucking so hard her eyes clamped shut

but she did not arch away –
she pushed herself further into his mouth,
welcoming the pain,
as famished fingertips dug into her back as if reaching for something he could not wait to unearth

in that moment,
she wouldn’t have minded if he drew blood;
he was biting her, devouring her

needing her

she would give all she had to give,
and she would take it all in,
all he had to give,
the needing, and the wanting,
and the desiring,
the unhindered exposing of his soul to hers,
becoming one

for, they knew,
in the giving and the taking,
in this most sacred exchange,
they would both feel stronger than they’d ever felt before

more

in the end,
she would be covered in bite marks,
scratches and ribbons of redness,
she would be rubbed straight to the bone with the kind of urgent exhaustion she imagined an addict felt between fixes

she would wake,
bruised to the marrow with him,
he a part of her, and she of him,
forever

-image via Tumblr, original source unknown