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Dear S. (letter to a reader) A poem


Dear S.,

I read your prose poem about fear four times

each word fiercely aching and vibrating with the misery of a pure and tender heart

shredded, fractured then armored

with countless layers of terror, guilt

loyal pump of life

cellophaned to suffocation

yet each word so precise

so crisply observed

so passionate

It seems you gave yourself away

for love

and yet, he poisoned you and made you feel

responsible for his pain, his dread

You know he is as afraid as you are?

So deeply afraid and hateful of himself that he cannot even contain it?

and so he poured his venom into the undeserving vessel that is you, perhaps

because he felt he never deserved your love

so deep runs self-hatred

It is a disease that tears our world apart each day

A world of hurt vibrates and shocks us

back and forth we ram painful daggers into one another

into our own flesh

I hope one day you will feel and see

what came to me after a lot of searching

through windows

the outside world was but a reflection of me

for years I grasped for opportunities

to be loved

and also pushed away kindness

that awkward boyfriend who made me ravioli from scratch

while my stomach rumbled

he tried so hard to make a purse for me out of fabric and got it all wrong

I didn’t know how to receive his affection

all of the confusion of not knowing where the love was located

trying to make art, get recognition from strangers

because my family wished me dead

after years of sadness

finally, relief

a simple kernel flowered

told me, I need not strive

I don’t need to be famous or beautiful or perfect

I don’t need an important career or qualifications

I don’t need to be anybody or do anything

I don’t need to deserve to be loved

all of the love I need or want is safely cradled inside

everywhere inside whatever mystery is me

so much unnecessary anxiety

have I manufactured so industriously

being fearful, feeling alone

Now I welcome life

and even alone or without friends

even if no one remembers my birthday

I am mostly full of joy and open to life

no one else’s fear can hurt me any more

I won’t allow it

but my eyes soften when I see their pain

it flares in tenderness and in violence everywhere

I cannot control it, and so I observe it

and warm my own heart to it

all I can do is

live my own dreams, my own peace

They radiate out in a gift to the world that is me

This is all I can do.

Just be me.

You are beautiful, S.

You are love, as we all are…

I hope one day you will be ready

allow life in

see the beauty that is you.

Sometimes I am scared or anxious.

Some days I am light and playful.  Anything I feel now is allowed.

I don’t need to be perfect anymore to impress anyone,

to convince anyone that I am worthy of being loved.

This world is full of hurt people

I have been one of them

No one ever told me that I am love itself

that all that matters is to love myself

misguided people following rules and religions

divorced from the reality of self

They don’t know we are all one

and so they resent, are frustrated, terrified.

and they sometimes brutalize and need to control

my own mother is such a person

now I know I am love

and I set her free to be herself

as I am free to be me

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