Love From, Rachel // I am not a sculpture, I am a garden.

This is the next piece in a collection entitled: Love From, Rachel. My Sister’s deepest desire was to publish a book of poetry. It would tell the story of her survival, the story that would keep herself—and one day, others—alive. When she died, she left behind 15 journals from her 5-year battle with mental illness: the heartbreaks, the horrors, the abundance, the vibrance, the love, and most importantly, the hope. We now pour ourselves over these journals, continuing to learn intricate details about my Sister long after her body has been laid to rest. Her journals give the impression that there are enough of her words to fill our lifetime. But I recognize that this is only blissful protect-myself-now-deal-with-it-later ignorance. One day there will be no more pages to turn, no more words to share. But until her words run dry, I will open these well-worn pages, to share them with you.

I am not a sculpture, I am a garden.
Love From, Rachel.

His body was like the bindings
of my journal
he felt strong when he could
keep all of my material inside

Every time he found
ripped out pages he cried
and tried to retrieve them

He traced the jagged place
where the paper was torn
and then put his hand
to my body
Trying to find the
place where something
was hidden
or missing.

You stick your hand down
my throat and you
pull out prose
sometimes kindly
and sometimes with force
that hurts

You became so obsessive
of my words
that you forgot that I
am the one who writes them

You forget the body
and you remember
the paper

and sometimes
I worry and wonder
that by the time
you retrieve all the pages
and put them back into
the book that is mine
that I will be torn apart.

And you will take the journal,
wrapped up with everything
you know about me
and leave me

A bundle of skin bits
and frayed limbs on the
floor of your judgement

But what does that make
me, to me?

You see I don’t see myself
like a body.
like a fixed proportion
that no amount of
working out or eating well
or healthy choices will ever change
too much

I am not a sculpture
I am a garden;
I am never set
In unforgiving stone.
But rather,
made to change
and grow.

So if you sift through my
And your mind tends to
land on the ones that
are missing
I will simply turn my
trust towards someone new

Let that be myself
And I’ll figure out not
how to shove my own
hand down my esophagus
until my insides burn
looking for pages I wanted
to lose forever

But rather,
to let flowers bloom in
place of ripped out paper.
For my flowers are always,
without fail,

I will leave you if I have
To be full and proud of myself
To know it is still okay to
accept myself while I am growing

I will leave you if I have to
Make no misunderstanding
about that.

If you’d like to begin from the start of this collection: Love From, Rachel click here.

Cover Photo Credit: Mona Eendra