The Veil and the Galaxies: A Poem


I wear a veil.

It doesn’t cover my face

but it covers my chest,

protecting all the swirling galaxies that lie inside.

And I protect this veil religiously

because I know the shooting pain

of the veil ripped open, without my permission,

or of the veil forced closed,

and held shut.

So if I show you my veil,

if I let one of my galaxies flow and fly

to you, I have offered a part of myself

that I am wont to keep at bay;

it is meant to be a lantern,

to lead you back to me, if you ever need me,

or a candle you can carry when you’re unsure and afraid.

If the veil moves for you,

you are trusted, and wanted,

and so deeply, deeply loved,

and even if the motion seems small (it is a microcosm)

it takes all my energy to brush aside that titanium curtain.

I have exposed all of myself to you;

cherish the glowing galaxy

you hold now in your palm.


Regarding Your Comment: A Poem

A few days ago,

I jokingly mentioned my self-loathing

(as I am wont to do,

knowing full-well, of course, that it is no laughing matter,

but laughing anyway to cope) and

you had the audacity

to say, “well,

you think you hate yourself,

don’t even go there, I have more self-loathing up my sleeves

than you’ve probably ever seen in your life,”

as if it is a competition, a game, for someone to hate themselves

as if it is a smug way to one-up someone,

to tell them your struggle is the greater, and the more worthy,

to put down their entire lifetime of self-esteem issues,

because, hey, your perception

is that your self-esteem issues deserve greater recognition,

am I right?

I’ve never intentionally pierced my own skin,

but I’ve certainly thought about it

and isn’t that evidence enough

that my problems are real problems?

Is my battle invalid, illegitimate,

until I swallow pills, and take a razor to my thigh––

does it have to be on the outside, rather than

a wound that is always open inside of me

and always bleeding

and always widening

and always hurting?

I know people who have made their own attempts

and I know people who a burying their scars

and would you tell them that their reasons are inferior, too,

and that they don’t know real pain, either?

Let me tell you now

there exists no beauty in hating myself––

it’s not romantic, it’s neither pretty nor petty––

it’s black, and it’s empty, and it’s full of obstacles,

and it’s a mountain I have to climb over every day.

It’s not a competition,

it’s not something you can brag about,

or show off, or compare to another’s––

it’s completely personal, completely awful.

Self-loathing is not a trophy. It is a disease.