purple and white and uneven

lines settle on my hips,

like the birds resting on the wire

across the street.

ashamed, hiding for so long

with the shadows in my head–

I had no idea what

to say to them, to justify, to defend,

but they are just birds

and I am just human

and in the end, does it matter?

I am alive, and I have fought monsters

every day of my life and am still

alive to tell the tale.

and these?

these are just reminders of everything

I have lost and everything

I have become

and so I’m going to do what I damn well please

and wear my battle scars

with pride.