Bare (A Love Letter To Myself)

Brandon Slesser
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
4 min readJan 24, 2024

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In My Skin

In my skin I flourish like wild flowers in a field of weeds. I relish in my beauty. I adore my physique. I love my body, yet I look at the mirror and find imperfections. I see what I wish was different and I wonder if I can change it. Men said I’m beautiful. They liked the way I looked and they would tell me what they wanted. I longed for the fire in their eyes. I loved the attention, but the attention wasn’t what I needed, I needed love.

I found love in a man that sees my body, my mind, and my spirit as beautiful. I long to hear him say those words and I wait on waining breathes with each syllable that slides off his tongue. He baits me with gentle kisses and wraps me in hugs that squeeze my bones together. It is not always pretty, but the love we share is deep and meaningful. I never thought the day would come that I would share this with someone. That I could belong to someone.

My Mind

My mind is a maze of uncontrolled symphonies of noise. Every thought is a scream or a yell, I quiet them down with inhibitors that settle my thoughts. Prescription pills and cigarettes numb the thoughts that spill into my brain. I feel as if I am driving a train going nowhere and everywhere at once. My thoughts sing to me and whisper beautiful heartbreaks that have yet to come to pass or ever will. The anxiety of the world eats away at the gray matter and spills into the crevices like pools of ichor. Thick and black, yet peaceful. Sleepless nights and caffeine highs. Still nothing quells the swirling vortex of poisonous voices.

My Body

Oh my body. How it aches at times, telling me it has had enough but still I push on. I used to think I was a walking diseases living with HIV, now I see a man beautiful, sexy, confident, and powerful. Cancer, the lowest of the low, tried to break me and only made me stronger. I feel the old me dying. The new me, a phoenix in the night, burns bright and strong. It is hatching from the egg within the ashes. Its wings growing larger within each day. Eager to fly from the pain and be reborn into a new creature of burning integrity and passion. Oh how beautiful it is. The raw power that it will bring. My bare skin burns under the flames. Embers in my growing hair, fire in my spirit.

My Spirit

The longing desire to find restoration and rebirth has led me back to my faith. It is full of peace, joy, and hope. Doubt has left me, my mind though muddled with anxiety and anguish, is light as a feather as I continue on my journey. A traveler baring his all to the world, revealing his inner most thoughts and sharing miracles that God had done. Though fear and doubt try to cloud me, I am becoming impervious to the pain of my past and present, only look ahead in the future.

My Truth

I have searched high and low. Searching under the bodies of men who saw me as a symbol for their relief. I allowed it. I demoralized myself in the name of finding who I am. I found it in the bed of a hospital, alone with tubes leaving my skin pumping and pulling fluids from and into my body. I was wasting away and realized that I was no longer the man I wanted to be. I had to let my old self die in order for me to rise from the ashes to become who I am now. Strong, Brave, Faithful, Hopeful, and Bare.

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Brandon Slesser
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Free spirited, open minded, hopeless romantic, a little stubborn, and an avid thinker.