A Letter to the Flayed Girl, Questioning the Sanctity of Life

Hello, friend.

Yes, you are my friend, though many miles divide us. I do not need to know the shape of your face or the light of your eyes to give my heart to you. I do not need the syllables of your name to send my strongest affections.

It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? There are others who have walked this same road, paved into the curls and whorls of their own lives. Via Dolorosa is a real place. We are her pilgrims, weary wanderers who can’t imagine another way extant within these four dimensions.

Indeed, though, there are holograms, instagrams that show smiles and thinness, fetes and joy; strange lands with greener grass and bluer skies, where storms never fall. They are but lies, damnable lies, a fiction we’re sold as penance for our lack of beauty, strength, or wealth; the quoi that grants favor on fools and bring pain to us, the flawed.

I’ve met many friends who have tried self-dissection, trying to isolate and exterminate every perceived flaw. There is no story to be found in bone and sinew, no patterns in the razor’s steel or spattered blood.

But I think you will find this in your own time. There will come a day when the rain clouds break, drowning their false Elysium in cess and vapor. The resplendant sun shall eviserate our sorrows with pure light, that harbinger of truth.

There will come a day when you cast the blades away, satisfied with your skin’s story, ready to move to different media. That is where you’ll find me, with blankets and tea and the kindest words I know. And you will see what I see, the world cast in better shapes and hues.

And you will live. You will have made it through the longest of nights. You will live. I would never have believed this story from your shoes, but I have lived this chapter to its conclusion. The sunlight is beautiful. I think you will want to see it.

Until that day, I send my love. Do not doubt it, even for a second: you are loved.

Zach J. Payne is a poet, novelist, and thespian; a lover of languages and purveyor of useless knowledge. He is an assistant at Ninja Writers and interns for Pam Howell at D4EO Literary Agency. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at ZachJPayne. If you enjoyed this article, please click the little green heart.

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