it does not just happen
till spring’s met winter
and the burn of its chill
wrenches away every leaf
of your branches
cold as the cold wind blows
the veneer you believe
is you
it’s just superficial untested
a pure seeming
a childish innocence
smiling and ignorant
then the split of sudden change
rends you gut to throat
like you’re a hunted duck
plucked rapidly of your feathers
preparing to be your fear’s dinner
the hunter of your demons
trussed you up
strung and pleading
the blade always cuts
both ways
standing in the flames
I promise this time
I’ll give this up
for the nth time
the pain never hurts less
you just get used to it
like life ravages the shallow
soft rock face of your grace
like water erodes away
little caves into what seems

it’s ok, you see
compassion is the fruit
of tremendous anguish
the sensitivity flourishes
in consuming conditions
it’s up to you
to love and accept
the thorns that come
with growing into
a beautiful human

it is the test if you can last
the course of what’s to come
it’s the pressing of hearts
against the grind of loss
it’s knowing defeat so deep
you could bleed your dreams
there on the floor
banging your fists
with impotent rage
your baby suffers
your mother weeps
your she-devil
haunts your sleep
it’s knowing how strong
the desire to win
is in the face of everything
falling apart
and then
it’s just awkward and not at all
what you thought it was
uncomfortable and raw
you find the strength
to just lean in

-arya sunyata

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