What It Means To Survive


my survival isn’t a graceful swan lifting her neck from the freezing waters

it’s a crow fleeing from a relentless hunter, terrified and without choice

my survival isn’t a beautiful rose blooming in a painful winter

it is the thorn pushing itself through the ice.

my survival is a kind of ugly war. my skin, forever growing ugly wars on it.

my survival isn’t a beautiful young artist sitting on a stool, painting the stuff of dreams;

it is a little girl touching the slaps on her cheek that she couldn’t defend herself to.

my survival isn’t a lone writer with glasses ecstatically penning down poetry in a quiet library,

it is a broken heart time traveling into the pages of stories and situations she had no control of.

my survival is a little sad, a little happy, a little all over the place, a little put together like stitched back clothes and stuck back vase pieces.

my survival is a little die inside, cry into pillows, late night 2 a.m. calls to strangers working for random mental health helplines and being placed on hold, breaking into hysterics in the middle of the street, laughing out loud into broken tea cups, climbing old trees and cycling towards the late winter sun, bandaging petals onto bruises and healing softly. there is no smooth path towards recovery. it will always be a digging yourself out of the grave and zombie trudging your way towards revival. it will always be difficult to live again as a new person. to peel out what you were like a second skin because whoever you used to be wasn’t enough to protect you from what destroyed you. so you look for something more powerful. something that will safeguard you, and you find it. you find that power in your revival. in this new person you have become. and you have become undefeatable. dangerously invincible. your pain. your pain is your power. your bruise is your battleship.

the broken are the unbreakable.