holding space

What does it look like to hold space for someone?
To listen. Understand. Be soft, open. To care.
I have been trying to learn.
No, I have been forced to learn.
In a world that reads my body
and presumes I already have
this flower in my bouquet.
I have been trying to be better.
I take in the pain of family, friends, strangers
so they have more room to breathe.
I do it out of obligation
and I do it out of kindness
and sometimes I do it out of spite.
What does it look like to hold space for myself?
I have been doing it all my life.
I take in my own pain
and vomit out words
for other people to stumble across.
Sometimes
it is healing
to see my reflection
and share it with others
who say it is theirs too.
Other times
it is psychic violence
to regurgitate shame
and sadness
for the consumption
of people who cannot
do the same for me.
Isn’t it like a woman
to hold space for herself
in a way that can hold space for others.
It is rarely a two way street.
Could I ask you to hold space for me.
Could I demand it
or is that a transgression.
Is it only possible
if I worm my way into your heart
the way you wormed your way between my legs.
Is there no space in between
for those of us
who bruise easily
no matter the situation.
Is there no hope
no hand to lend
for pain you caused.
Can you not see
my humanity.
How did you learn
to stay so cold
and do I want to know.
What does it look like
to be held.
To be listened to
and understood
without strings attached.
Is this only a fantasy
inside my head
if so
can you tell me why
when they say love is the answer
but the heart so often
cannot make room
for anything other than blood and romance
or simply, frighteningly
only oneself

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