Nobody told me what beautiful looked like

Nobody told me what beautiful looked like
I had to learn it from the inside out.
I had to unzip my skin it had
held me so tightly that my
ribs could no longer

I had to turn my outside-in
inside-out body
into a sanctuary of love. A
temple of prayer. Turn
my thorny flesh into a garden where
it was okay to grow fruits and flowers and
where clouds could run like
rain down the side of my face.

I had to step out of that unzipped body and
leave it behind altogether. To
allow different thoughts
different dreams to
fill up my empty glass. My
empty mouth
and drink.

Drink what I did not understand. A
taste I had never known.
Sour and sweet yet bitter. The
taste of earth and air and ocean.

I had to let the lightning rip through my
wounds, salt my pain, distil my fever, until
nothing else was left of me.

I had to learn beautiful
and it was no easy thing.

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