You know you never wanted that easy road. There have been seasons, yes. Seasons colder than others, in which you winced at your choices and wondered at the What Ifs, but regret your own feet? No. The trials and bruises have been your greatest teachers. They were your indoctrination. They have made you into Woman. And what you’ve come to know about yourself, among the clearest things anyways, is that you hold many fears, but you are wholly unafraid to be wrong and misjudge the landing. You’re scared, of course. But you’re not afraid to leave a little trail of blood. Others have called you flighty, but you know the truth. You’re the only one that gets to live in this particular body, and the consequences, both piercing and exquisite, are yours alone—tattooed in the soft flesh of your inner thighs, written into the tiny scars on your palms, whispered in the spit that circles the shower drain. The discolored knuckles, photo boxes under the bed, empty bank account, full gas tank, lungs breathing desert air: yours.
In this hour when your fingers are raw for crimping sideways on penny ledges, while your back strains to keep twenty-six ribs afloat, girl, do not be angry. To remain so would be to hold yourself down, punch the air from your lungs. You might not always sing in tune, but your voice is strong and there are birds, slept through the dawn, that need you. Angry stops you from dancing. And Woman, the world needs you to dance.
Do not be angry. Be flayed open from breast to belly by love and sadness, all of it, pour yourself into the nooks and canyons and opens hands and warm beds. Let the space of possibility again send you into tiger flight. And again. Again.
Your yes’s sometimes don’t pan out. But do not stop saying yes.
//pictured: a collaborative public art work by yours truly & Sara Sanford || Mural quote from “Coming Home” by Ken Hada