"In search of Self" by Mariah Williams

moon-woman.jpg

I forgot myself.

Forgot how to love and hold me

on nights when the brisk air creeped under my door and all I could hear outside my window were the faint whispers of crickets

I forgot how to tell myself to see beauty and strength

To fill up my own cup when his words couldn’t

To love on myself when his touch was too cold to bear, his chafed hand piercing my skin

When his eyes, bellowing with disapproval, Looked at me

I forgot to look in the mirror and see myself

Understand that I couldn’t be the center of his universe because I was working to be the center of my own

I forgot to sit with my own silence

Spend the day with me, letting myself feel all the things lost with him

Knowing that it’s good to feel, to feel for myself.

I forgot

Me

To look down at my body, rub my cocoa butter hands along my stretch marked thighs

Caress my belly, bloating with the all the things that make me a woman

I forgot my own touch, what it felt like to caress myself

So one night while he was asleep, I crept downstairs, sat by the window and looked for my sister, the moon.

Hoping to look high, to see myself again.

And l loved her, I loved her more than any man.