i am nineteen and i am just learning how to live

I am now wanting. sick, swelling hunger; I am a woman asking for more.

I think of all the places this body has been. That I loved, that loved me, that are still buried under the nails. All of these places I daren’t leave

a whisper behind. All of these places where I have existed in the peripheral. For the deep magnificent thing that it is,

the Earth has barely felt my weight. for so long, I couldn’t bear even the sound of even my own footsteps.

it was a predicate of survival I had not anticipated. I was not trying to survive- that would require fighting. I did not know (I did not want to believe)

that is part of the definition of ‘to live’. I had nestled in the ideal of life as a

smooth perfection- without conflict- even inside oneself. This philosophy entails a passive kind of destruction, a destruction born of willing

nothingness, to be the audience of my own reality. The audience cannot change the course of the story, even as the

amphitheatre crumbles around them. The audience, even at the edge of their seats, have a tranquility in the truth there is nothing they can do. I had found the answer in the lightness of life.

This that I had built the foundation of my life upon I thought could not betray me. But the will is a powerful thing.

It throbs in a woman who has denied herself being as an agent. Taking control she did not deserve. Each action is a

refraction of it, that which is numbed will find a way to be felt. And so, despite resistance,

I began mourning this woman I had drowned. The transfer of energy from the hands pushing want down simply forced it back up the body to the heart with forceful velocity.

I am nineteen and life is without me. Nineteen feels far too late to revisit the roots and begin watering. Nineteen feels like a

paradigm and a warning:

do not fear failure. this is what you will become.

Now I am a woman learning a language that demands to be heard. I am not a woman without fear, of course. I fear now the thought of being nobody -

I think now I would rather be a failure. I had thought to be un perceived was to be un marked. Perfection is attractive for that very reason-

perfection is to be nothing that can be criticised - (but) therefore perfection is to be nothing at all.

So now I am a woman asking for more. Here I am, not nothing at all. Here I am, tell me about myself. Here I am, feel me.