i was talking to my uncle today
and he said -
he had great loves
when he was my age,
but as great as they were
he doesn’t remember their names.

and my heart sunk
to the pit of my stomach,
because i imagined you,
years from now,
saying the same thing
to your kids,
trying to remember
what you called me.

there’s a difference between
me - the living,
and
me- the memory you keep
and now,
finally,
i know
that i am more
than what you dreamed,
i am more than a fantasy,
i am real.

m.v., atelophobia (the fear of imperfection, of not being enough).

i was talking to my uncle today
and he said -
he had great loves
when he was my age,
but as great as they were
he doesn’t remember their names.

and my heart sunk
to the pit of my stomach,
because i imagined you,
years from now,
saying the same thing
to your kids,
trying to remember
what you called me.

m.v., athazagoraphobia (the fear of forgetting, or being forgotten).

you hate my tattoo
because i did it to defy you -
it’s a constant reminder
that i can hurt myself
the way no one else can,
that my spectrum of fears
does not include pain.

m.v., reckless (i do not see my body as a temple).

you shouldn’t worry about
getting my forgiveness,
worry instead about
forgiving yourself.

m.v., one day you’ll hate yourself for hurting me this way.

i am awake,
rummaging through my head
for the synonyms
i know for -
afraid.

m.v., insomnia (my dreams scare me).

i think that maybe
to you
i am just
a collection of
ok-but-not-great
memories,
aftertaste
of coffee cake
and
half-baked dreams.

m.v., to you i am fragments

darling,
i need you to understand
your worth is not
between your legs,
you do not
gain it, or lose it
through sex.

m.v., notes to my teenage self.

i used
to think of my scars
as stripes
of a tiger,
marks of a survivor;
now i know better -
they are
constant reminders
of how easy it is
to slip,
how easy
to cut too deep;
a reminder
of how close i was
to losing everything,
how close i came
to not surviving.

m.v., there is nothing poetic about hurting yourself.