yourheart beats

when you’ve won

when the alarm clock doesn’t sound
like a thousand angry voices
chiding you, berating,
because you don’t have the strength
to make it out of bed today

when you don’t have to remind your
heart to beat and
your lungs to fill with life
because you’re not quite sure if you remember
what that’s supposed to feel like

when the scars on your ankles turn white and itch, so badly, as they begin to fade
but you no longer itch to re-carve them
because you’ve found more fulfilling art forms

when you sleep soundly through the night,
unantagonized by demons in your dreams
or the ones in your sleeping pills
because you can hardly hear them anymore

when you get out of the shower
before you’ve exhausted the hot water supply
because an escape isn’t necessary
when there’s nothing to hide from

when your mouth reclaims its mind
and laughs bubble
and smiles slip across without duress
because genuine joy doesn’t need coercing

when you can finally
go get a manicure, a real manicure
because your ragged nails have started to grow again
and you don’t feel the need to gnaw at them anymore

when you can hold your own gaze
in the mirror without cringing
because your reflection looks a little bit more familiar
and you think she might be someone worth getting to know

when you realize that, while
it might not happen overnight,
and the process is agonizing,
you’ve come a long damn way from where you used to be
and the worst is over

that’s when you know you’ve won.