Many men have loved me

But none enough to stay

I’ve traced mountainsides

With my fingertips

Across the ironed-out

landscapes of flesh

Curving against muscle

And bone

I’ve learned to open

This heart wide

Like an eager lotus

Floating atop the waters

Calm, without hesitation

Waiting to meet the sun

And my love is met consistently

With resistance

And trepidation

Like pushing a door open

With all of the weight

Of my small frame

Against hurricane-strength winds

And even still

I leap

I pull together the pieces

Of other broken hearts

Into my embrace

Pouring gold into the cracks

Mending them into wholeness

With my own

More valuable than before

My heart has been broken

A million times over

And yet

Each time

I love

I live

I learn

A little more fearlessly

Than before

Because the joy I’ve found

In offering light

Into the darkness for others

Is far more freeing

Than the fear

And this is the path,

I’ve realized,

To healing my own

Once-wounded soul

Because, my dear,

What use would there be

In restoring wings

To those you won’t allow to fly?