I Start Each Day with A Guided Meditation On How To Love Myself

Emily Daniel

It’s when I think I love her most that I am closest to loathing. Unconditional

is an absurd suggestion. There are a million reasons to love me and I need every one

of them. Under the jeans: blue-grey skin and cellulite, bruises that stay like they belong

there from the most delicate brush with a desk or door handle. Under the shirt:

what do you want from me. A mouthful of something you can’t swallow

means choking, and I have it, I do. This talk of my body like it is me.

Like that is what to love. What am I if not the length from root to crown,

the width of both hands holding me up, maneuvering me where the body goes.

Where does the want begin if not in someone else’s pants? I was good,

I knew it all along. I was the good good. Now when I say it, people grimace.

They say hate is love’s bedfellow and even the most gentle breeze

can turn the sail. A careful hand holds it steady. Why did we drive all night

to LA only to sleep in the parking lot of Urth Caffe until it opened?

Why had I refused to admit that I farted in the car while she pumped gas?

She blamed the nearby farm, said it smelled like open ass. I laughed

for ten minutes straight but never told her that the ass was mine.

I have only learned how not to lie by saying nothing. I tell myself the truth

and this must be what love is. I touch the shoulder or the thigh to soften

the slice-through of words, the names I give to the loss, the slide from my palms,

the evidence splattered to the earth. I never threw anything away, I just opened

a hand and said it was surrender.

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