I stand alone in my room.
I stand alone in the middle of my room. No mirror. No lights. No sound. I do not need these things.
I stand still.
I stand still with my eyes closed. Just breathing. Just listening. Just being. I am learning to listen.
I start to touch myself.
My hands start exploring my own body. My hands start exploring my own shell that I have to call home.
Rubbing my own hands together. Sweaty palms meeting before the fingers start greeting the wrist. Hands bent, moving up my arms to the curve of my shoulders and around my short neck.
Breathing in air.
Then, slowly, creeping my fingers up the back of my ears and marking every curve and angle of my circular face – my eyes, my high cheekbones, flat nose to my dry cracking lips.
Sweat tastes salty.
Gentle hands moving down my chest, breasts, abdomen, thighs, calves, ankles and toes.
I feel alive.
I trace every vein I could find in the dark, entwining my limbs together and hugging myself to feel my long spine down my smooth back.
Listening to thoughts. Listening to heartbeats. Listening to the Body.
The body I have grown with. The body that has felt pain and caused me pain. The body that has been with me but I am still unable to love.
This is my body. My refuge. My temple.
I want to feel
Loved for every birthmark. Loved for every freckle. Loved for every stretch mark. Loved for every scar, every hair, every hangnail.
Can you love this temple?
Can I love myself?