reclaiming me

Featured Illustration: Mikenzi Jones


Here I am alive and breathing

Living in ways I did not believe were possible

Unsure and uncertain within my own being

Here I am reclaiming and hoping

Into the ways of my own soul, spirit, and body

After a year of heartbreak and longing

After months and months of grieving

After weeks of feeling severed from all

Do you see me and all that lives within me

Despite the loss of dreams and desires

Attached to the whims of a whole other person

So how does it feel to stand here

To stand on my own feet

On a silent space

It feels freeing

Known through intentional breath

For all the pain and suffering

For all the tears and rejection

For all the failures and mistakes

I burned and burned on a pyre of myself

Only to rise again — unafraid

The worst came to be and here I am

Still alive, still breathing

My capacity to expand despite the pain

My ability to transform within the fire

My tenacity in holding onto me

Surprised the fear out of me

So now here I stand to keep on going

So now here I live to keep on choosing me

So now here I believe in the work of reclaiming me

Ushbah Al-Ain

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