hasn’t anyone told you
that you must be yourself to survive?
You are a phoenix,
a strong presence in the air around you,
and beautiful in the same way that brushfires are beautiful.
You come off like a shot of espresso;
you cannot stop waking people up.
Life is an endless morning to you.
You are strong.
Do not be afraid to be strong.
And when you are soft,
do not be afraid to be soft.
You do not see lace hardening its edges,
or oak trees rejecting their topmost branches.
There are days when people will say this is not enough,
that you should not like yourself so much.
They will say that you must soften, sweeten, soothe,
to play games no one wants to play,
all to ensnare people who will call themselves your friends or lovers.
You must know that they are wrong.
You must know you are more than a plaything.
You must know you are worth authenticity.
When your joints creak beneath the weight of expectation and provocation,
you must know that you are a force of light
Your soul is the prize of a lifetime.