You wake up and you know you are free.
That nothing will ever drag you back.
And it’s not insight this perspective grants you
(you’ve gone over and over every part of it, and your story’s morals are nothing outside of itself).
It is space, and light, and warmth.
You can sit where you like, breathe how you were meant to, be the kind of alone that’s empty of fear.
You can be inelegant, bare your shoulders without a blanket nearby in case a threat comes.
You don’t have to edit your expressions before
you let them ring free, now; they’re yours.
That self-consciousness they blamed in you, bred into you. It was no petty tendency. It was an impression left, a marker of those threats you weren’t allowed to give a name to.
Darts cutting into your being and mind, sharp, fast things that you couldn’t speak of.
Because, despite all your efforts, the language of reality was taken from you. Contorted and erased by other words. Words that were somehow so much stronger, heavier, louder.
Your effortless truth became a labor to maintain.
You were almost made to forget,
Birth is painful.
Light and Air foreign things to skin that has never seen them.
There is so much to be purged. Poison stings when it leaks from your pores and it does for a long, long time.
The fear, now coupled with truth, swells and rages while you are asleep. You dream of everything that you could not before.
Not images, not happenings, but impressions. Vivid, sick stylized imaginings. You live hundreds of lives in your sleep, feel everything choke you and kill you, only to wake and fall again.
You sleep for hours, for weeks, in broken and inescapable spaces. You are reminding yourself what it was to be there, how it felt to be murdered again and again and again.
You come up for air, wreathed in damp blankets, and you see everything.
You breathed through your sickness, and for the first time in twenty-four years, it ended.
(Not buried or thrown over, unseated by plans and practicalities. Not flooded out with chemical lights, not bruised or bloodied or anchored to anything, weight to be measured in pain receptors.)