It happened. I was in a man’s arms long enough for him to unfold me. I spent the night dancing between wholeness and not wanting my body to give away how long it had been since I had been held this way- embarrassingly too long to be honest.

Lately my body has been dissolving underneath my clothes. Everything fits baggy and misplaced, but I am far less interested in my shrinking body size as much I have been interested in my shrinking spirits. Yet I wasn’t fully aware of the state I had found myself in until I felt his fingers trace my compactible spine through my tee-shirt. My frailness, the shallowness of my breath, the ache coating my bones were impossible to cover with the words that I have been telling everyone, “I’m fine” “I’ve moved on” “Things are good.”

Somehow lost among my travels and hopes to be seen as independent, I forgot the most basic of needs- to care, to connect, to hold, and yes, to be held. That night pressed up against him as my eyelids became heavier with the hum of his breath, I remembered it’s okay to let someone come closer. It’s okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to be dependent some days. It doesn’t make me weaker. It makes me human.


Art Courtesy of Mark Horst


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