You are not required
to set yourself on fire
to keep someone else warm.

Nor are you required
to dim your brightness
just because someone else
averts their eyes.

Nor are you required
to choke down your words
because someone’s ear heard things
you didn’t say.

I don’t pray, but this – I pray you come to know.
That you find
some measure of peace for your soul. That
dawn on this new horizon sings
something like wholeness. Enough safety, for
this blossoming vulnerability. Satiety, too.
And a soft glowing from your bones;
Aurora-like and warming
when you find yourself cold.