Bachir Miloudi / Sputnik Photography
A girl hugging herself.
My body is in a constant fight just to stay afloat,
but it does. It is mine.
“Eat vegan,” or “skip gluten,” they say,
because it healed them. Their body isn’t mine.
A body in need of rest and medicine,
but still aches. This agony is mine.
Riddled with chronic illness and pain,
my heart will continue to beat on just fine.
My lungs, they balloon with air and my legs will carry me far,
because they are mine.
I hold this pain while I live and walk through the world.
I thrive because this life is mine.
I cradle the pain and hold her close to me,
because she is what makes this life mine.
We will move through our life together,
forming Nicole. She is me and I am mine.
This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 4 on Thursday, Dec. 7.