Day 1. Poem about secret or forbidden love.
On the Love of Self
It starts slowly, like getting acclimated
to thinner air. You stop looking away
when, by chance, you see your face
in reflective material - in the black stone
of a skyscraper, or the stillness of a lake.
What you can see of yourself becomes
you; you do not hesitate, seeing another’s
hands at work, when your brain commands.
You start to think of your body as a whole –
a thing that hums and whirrs and works
in concert with itself. You do not have
to love its faults, which are many:
the strange pains, the weaknesses, the aches.
But you can start to love what it does.
The hands that create, if haltingly, the brain
that powers it all, darting from task to task
like lightning, the legs that, though painfully,
take you where you need to go.
This is love: to choose over and over.
Decide that this body is worth your love
and work from there. And when you see
that stranger smiling in the mirror, don’t turn away:
look her in the eye and smile back.