The Braille for Self-Love
Tell me that you will love her anyway,
when her body folds into itself like a concertina, and her lungs
are the only part that still remember how to expand again.
Learn to believe that depression is not always a cue for leaving;
even though her love language is not personal touch
know that the Braille etched in her palms reads stay.
Please never forget that she is still something precious;
when she has fallen from her pedestal, pride bleeding
through gritted teeth; when tears are the only thing left glistening.
Forgive her gently when her foundations are trembling
for even the most tragically beautiful scenery is often ruins.
On the off chance that her heart is not in the right place,
forgive her anyway, just because she is the epitome of human.
Please promise me that you will hold her when she needs you to;
swallow your toungue just to convey it is okay not to be okay.
When she is ready, let her unwrap her smile like a child
on Christmas day; pretend you did not see her slip the ribbon
in her pocket just in case she needs to wrap it up again.
Give her the space to wrestle with relapse and recovery.
On the days laughter is her most fluent language
do not capture the fireflies in her eyes; their light
is always more breathtaking when they dance freely.
Take her on coffee dates; let her sleep in till midday;
let her spend hours smoking cigarettes and watching the rain.
Tell me that you will never be too old for blanket forts
and nights spent spooning with the stars,
after all you are used to spending every night with her.
Finally, grow her a garden so that she never runs out of petals;
never needs to question whether you love her so or not. Tell me
you will make her believe that love can be something unconditional.
By Anita Dutt
Anita Dutt is a university student in Australia, studying so that maybe one day she will be a part of the healing. Anita has been weaving words to fabricate the nest within her ribcage for years though she is the new bird on the poetry block. You might not have heard her name yet but you’ll soon taste it every time you lick a lemon slice to disguise a night of tequila shots; you’ll feel it every time you rub honey into your wounds and realise the irony that you’re allergic to bees. She’s a magpie when it comes to inspiration; she picks apart nearly anything and everything (even her pizza. But don’t we all do that?) but her fellow poets are what keep her appetite satiated in between writing poems especially Andrea Gibson, Shinji Moon, Meggie Royer and Caitlyn Siehl. She writes to feel the pain. She writes to heal. She writes to say this happened. She writes to say I survived. She writes to say you will too.