I never loved my body,

arms, legs, thighs, battle   
scars from birth,
two-spirit brown-girl
pushed to extremes,
raged, destroyed, lashed out
sharp desert words in a rainforest body.

They never understood why
I clung to those who died,
drug over-dose, car accident, disease,
whose breath was my breath,
whose bodies loved my body,
intertwined and misunderstood,
whose love saw my claws detract in slumber,
my head in one’s lap she crooned, a Cris Williamson song,
“go back into the darkness,”
“Your teeth are far too sharp, my love,
I’m afraid you’ll go too far.”

I sabotage my death wish,
breaking layers of trauma and decay,
seeking words tangible in finding meaning,
an emptiness to overcome, my losses,
my failures gifted from the mystical holiness unknown,
tally marks of success, staying alive, remaining unbroken.
If only they had made it to now, what then?

Where did all the years of self-loathing go?
Into the ground, or ashes in an urn?
My body is ceremony rooted in loving me,  
once covered in shame, is breaking free,
a cliché of blinding light, awake from darkness,
cold rain falling, uplifted face and tongue,
my body is ceremony rooted in loving me,
a two-spirit brown-girl in a rainforest body.