Letters to Me

By Hannah P


this belly is a canvas

a written ledger of my history

tangible proof of my patterns

physical manifestations of my habits

where the stretch marks meet

the tan lines

and the waistband meets the belly button

i leave my love letter next to my hip bone

cushioned on the battlefield of

self acceptance that crept into my navel

without me ever really knowing how


i still feel their gaze

burned into my breast bone

the silent stares. the reaching hands

raise that neckline higher

pile on one more sweater

but my collar bones will never forget

what it felt like to be the barrier

that their eyes never strayed above

to be the last detail of importance

that their eyes grazed over

and never. not even once

did our two eyes by chance meet


the freckles on my arms

arrange themselves like connect the dots

till spider webs run past my veins

and constellations pepper my biceps

making maps that guide me home


sometimes. i carry a guilt

in the space between my ribs

when i think of how happy I have become.

of the sorrows i have shed

do we dare to feel joy

when we look into the mirror?

have i earned to smile in this new pair of shoes?

what of those who still brim with fury.

should i not hate too?

to stand beside them filled with anger

screaming that they are not alone

when it seems that in face i

am the rare breed


this is the love letter i should have written.

should always have written. but this is the love

letter that has always existed. in the space

between my fingers and the glint in my eyes. this is

the sonnet to me. to the very essence of all that i

am. this is the apology and the approval, this is

the ecology and the beginning.

this is the love letter i never wrote.


MiscellaneousHannah P