The Way to Love Yourself

Stray poems shadow me
hungry for crumbs  
from my pocket dictionary  
Definitions which would shed    
explanations on their confused    
state of non-existence  
You see, I know what it's like    
to be hungry, to shiver in  
the season of homelessness  
with nothing but a rusty roof    
leaking rain barrel tetanus  
I know what soles feel like    
calloused from following    
dead-ended dreams  
But, here's the thing  
no definition can appease    
that constrictor knot strangling    
air supply from the heart  
I would explain, but recall  
shame blocking reason  
before I fully understood;    
so too must you  
I remember what survival    
smells like running  
across the bridge  
before it opens its mouth  
to the river's throat  
Instead of offering reasons  
for you to carry on--    
I have an extra bed  
bags of beans and rice  
soup and bread  
It's not much    
but it's comfort nonetheless    
There's nothing    
I can say that will help  
you understand  
the beauty of acceptance  
wearing inequities'  
potato sack dress  
Especially if you'd  
rather be somewhere else  
This pocket dictionary  
contains nothing  
for the streets  
Don't you see  
Meanings are    
with frost-bitten  
hands and feet  
I have warmth  
but can't explain  
how it's generated;  
I have woolen socks  
but can't explain  
how they're knitted  
Surviving in dark alleys  
doesn't mean  
you deserve    
Corruption creates scar tissue    
it's true; but, circumstance  
is nothing new  
or something unheard of  
within our human veils  
We've all been branded
at some point in this flesh  
and been the better  
for Love having lived it  
Don't look for reasons  
where none exist  
Share this lot instead  
pass the ink, ruin    
the parchment tablecloth  
and laugh about it  
Share stories of how    
spring poems rescued you  
from a winter  
of meaninglessness  
How they wrote themselves  
without ever once  
batting an eye  
wondering who  
or how come  
This is the way to Love yourself  
and make a difference:    
"Today, get back up"  
no matter circumstance;    
keep going despite pain    
or face it over, and over again  
Written by Ahavati
Author's Note
To those with heavy burdens
and empty chairs at the dinner
table because injustice has
chosen not to discrimminate
To those with heavy burdens
and empty chairs at the dinner
table because injustice has
chosen not to discrimminate
regarding innocence and age
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