In the night, at first, I painted pictures of my insides with words.
The tired eyes, still and icy, inviting as winter snow deepened, followed the lines, learning me.
Leaning over the barrier built of quiet struggles, handfuls of dirt up around the old firepit of love.
The meeting left me naked, shaking. Cold. Awake.
I turned away, covering up with scraps of what I knew, leaving there what I no longer recognized.
The eyes wondered where I went.
I had tea instead of returning,
Added honey as if it were the sweetness I needed,
Told myself it had to be enough.
Time passed. Streams of honey, wells full of tea.
I heard angry, sad voices saying others knew me better than
I knew myself.
But those nights of carefully constructing stories told me
I had all the words to be known, and maybe I was.
Reading back to the beginning, I saw a girl like me smiling in the face of all disease.
She, with bright eyes shining, knew better than to feel shame,
To muddy her spirit with guilt
For having felt,
Went the wrong way for the right reasons.
She, who, over syrupy tea, played another part in her own life
for the sake of her life.
She was something special.
I liked her.
And I knew her better than anyone.