because isn’t there a beauty in ruins? isn’t that why people came all the way to rome, to stare at the crumbling pillars melting into ivy, letting that living vine lift where stones could not? isn’t there something breath-taking about a burial ground, filled with moss-covered headstones you dig your nails into, pulling away with palms full of green and rust and the shadow of a ghost? because ruins are like a wounded mother, bleeding but still fighting, teeth bared. because ruins mean someone, ages ago, isn’t forgotten. here is where she walked, here is where she ran. here is where she laid under the sky and let herself feel small, feel infinitely unknown beneath a sky full of things she couldn’t name. because i am a ruin—did you see the marble of my throat, where he chipped away at it? did you see the vines that are crawling across my chest? it’s been so long since something touched my heart. did you see the cobwebs in the corners of my eyes? i’ve kept them shut for so long.