On learning self-love

This is my body, this is my soul — 
I am not the man I wanted to be.

Sometimes I speak to him,
Broken eye-contact in half-focused,
Cloudy glass panes;
Why do you not look like him?

The stranger who stares back at me,
I do not know him.
He is not who I am supposed to be — 
His eyes are sad, like trickling streams
Under sunny, droughtful skies.
I want to ask him,
Beg him not to weep.

Wipe your eyes, they said.
Boys do not cry.
Do not move your hands so much
When you talk, boys do not do this.
Do not dance when you walk,
This is what girls do.

Do not show emotions — 
This is what they meant.

After this
Learning to love myself is
Bristled, ripe with pricking thorns,
Like watering a garden
Overcome with blight,
Sickly and sun-dried.
But after the thistle clears,
When the green sprouts,
I maintain the life I never thought
I would see.

I want to tell the man in the mirror
To liven his garden, to clear away
The old debris, the weeds — 
These must go.

Loving yourself is not
Letting go of you;
No, this love is 
Holding your life in your hands, 
Watching the greenery 
Wrap around your fingers and
Knowing you will grow tall again.
This love is looking at the one
In the mirror, see them as they are,
Loving them as only you can.

In this vile, wonderfully wild world
This is the love that you must have — 
Grow your garden like towers, so
When their voices rattle your bones
You can seek shelter there.


Spread a little happiness today in whatever you do. :,) — I love feedback!

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