Being brave softened the edges of her heart like
an ice cube that moves with the grace of a waterfall
through the crevasses between one’s fingers;
when vulnerability lays down its head in warm hands.
But it also tarnished her naivety, coarsened her palms,
spun webs in her lungs for her to pluck away the lies;
to catch the prey before it threatens to be a predator.
Some people like to use beautiful in a compliment
but beauty is not an honor just as brave is not a privilege.
She was not born with courage, but she fought hard
for it to pave her skin; imprint survival like a birthmark.
In every breath she was not ignorant of fear, but she
fought anyway; no matter how silent the war was,
no matter how loud her teeth and knees battled against her.
She chose brave even when it was not the easy way out.
People often ask what is the one thing you could not live without,
and it is simple for her:
just try and take away bravery from me; it wasn’t mine to begin with but
I’m playing for keeps now.