This Is For When It Starts Feeling Better

This is for the moment you realize you’ve stopped screaming
When you’ve been shouting above the blood and hurt for so long
That your throat gets raw
It takes you a moment to register the silence
It sounds like evening snow – soft and white
Realizing you don’t have to scream anymore
Because it’s a bearable, quiet hurt now
Hurt you can tuck in at night without having it creep into your room hours later
And crawl into bed with you, crying
This is for the moment when you break the surface of the water
Gulping in lungfuls of air, trying to breathe it down into your toes
The spots finally clearing from the edges of your vision
No longer fighting for each half second you’re alive
Panting, near hyperventilating, trying to adjust to having life back in your bloodstream
This is for the moment you lift your head up from the toilet
Shaky and pale, weak and wrecked
The taste of vomit still acrid, burning your throat
Rinsing your mouth, catching your own eye in the mirror
Finally empty, with room to refill yourself
With birthday parties and first dates, graduations and bonfires
With love and love and love and love
This is for the moment you stitch the last suture up along your belly
Your insides finally back where they belong
Intestines no longer spilling onto the floor, winding like familiar country roads
Popping some pain pills and knowing it’ll stop hurting eventually
This is for the moment you say
“I am whole again.
I am hurt, yes.
But I am whole.”

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