Bell the Cat – Emalee Long

I want you to be gentle with yourself.
You don’t have to be firm,

Or strong. Wilt like water,

                Nothing has to be done right.
And you are not an accumulation of what you have done.
I could run my finger,

The length of your scars,
And smell the stardust under your skin.

               That is perfection.
Enough, that is enough.

And if you want to rage like the ocean at yourself,
Putting yourself between rocks and waves and the devil.

Well, it sounds understandable.

I understand that gentle is rough.

Softly now,
             Pain doesn’t have to be meaningful.

So kiss your wounds and taste the saltwater of eternity.
I will whisper into the hot June winds

You are perfect, and I love you.

Emalee LongEmalee Long is a linguistic anthropologist working in the field of propaganda analysis. Her artistic written works can be found online at the Showbear Family Circus and Logic 86 or in print in Milestone 2018. Texas-born she currently lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. instagram: