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.