–Recently I asked my parents if the next tattoo I wanted would last me a life, per their criteria.

They agreed the meaning of “safe” seared into my bare wrist would waste away with time–

Time I didn’t have then to tell them I felt I needed to remind myself I was SAFE

That the physical space I chose to house my body in didn’t have to be my only home

That I could feel safe in my papercuts & nose bleeds & knobby knees

That my shoulders housed & held me tighter some nights than any bed or lover ever could

That giving into fever or a fluttering in the stomach meant I was really there, because

These days I feel I’ve outstretched my body from depression into happy deception–

Safe is to know I can


& taste & sing & laugh

& exist

without sorry

Safe is a fresh bush of raspberries in the backyard

While they took a while to grow into life,

they now brim the summers in sweet, staining our fingers and cheeks

They remind us that good things are yet to come &

that we have another summer to look forward to

Safe is seeing the sunrise for the first time in years

You read & watch & hear about it in movies & the overflow of romance novels on the bedside table & savor the taste of an idea

Sunset breaching limits you trust exist beyond a horizon you cannot touch but instead feel in warmth & complimentary color

I’m not sure if I trust in safe yet

But I know it is there

Safe is

An okay I can cuddle into

A need I can want &

The proof is there, etched

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