This Knotted Stomach Is Mine, Apparently

The true tragedy is that
only one of us ever has control over the vocal cords.

~

You speak in sobs and whimpers.
You come to me with twisting intestines
and screaming lungs.
You never understand when I ask you to be silent.

~

You are loud
and I used to hate you for it.

~

I'd crumple on the bathroom counter,
sweat sticky on my forehead,
and when I saw you in the mirror,
I never knew what to say.
Because you speak in a roughly beating heart
and a pain in my core that I cannot combat
and neither of us knew the others' language.

~

Some people wish for sharper jawlines
or prettier lips.
I used to wish that I could rebuild you
molecule by molecule.
I used to wish that we were separate entities,
that I could exist outside you without pain
or fear
or an incessant anxiety that wears me down
from day to day.

~

I look in the mirror
and I don't see myself.
I see you:
the pain I cannot shake.
You:
the meat husk I'm stuck navigating.
You:
the body built wrong,
built for aching,
built for drowning,
built for curling up in bed,
wishing to be unmade
just so I wouldn't have to experience
this.

~

But
I'm learning to be kind.
In fits and bursts,
I call you by my name.

~

I'm learning to love
the strength in my skinny arms,
the gentleness that I can force into my fingertips,
all learned from years of learning your language.
Day by day, it is becoming easier to exist alongside you.
It is becoming easier to remind myself
that I'm just myself
for all the trouble it can be.

~

I don't know how long it will take
for me to stop considering this body mine
and start considering this body me,
but
I'm learning to be kind
when I find myself falling to pieces.
I'm learning to sleep early.
To eat well.
To stop
even when my brain is begging to go.

~

Sometimes,
I look in the mirror
and the person that I see
is myself
and she isn't unhappy.

This poem is about: 
Me

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