Girl on the Train

I see you, girl on the train
I see you try to make yourself small
I see you pull in your shoulders, lean away
Make sure not to touch another person

with your skin, with your clothes
with your presence

You don’t live life being this big without knowing about trying to be small
About trying to will smallness out of too much flesh
Without thinking small thoughts
Without folding in on yourself, twisting and collapsing

to fit in this world

Until you’re so constrained that you can’t work out how to move
How to stretch in the sun
How to take up space

I see you, girl on the train
I see you try to make yourself small

Don’t.

This is my body. I exist in this world, now
My feet burn on hot pavements because I am real and here and living
My skin is soft because I have taught myself to care for it

not deny it
not ignore it
not resent it

I sit in airplane seats that used to make me want to stay up and apologise for the
physical-ness of me

I am sorry my arm is touching you
I am sorry you have deal with all of this
All of me

I am sorry. I am sorry.

I am not sorry anymore

I sit in airplane seats and I am weightless above the earth

I am the opposite of sorry
This is my body and I will use it explore my earth
Because I only get one chance on this crazy mess of a planet and this is my vehicle
to see it all

I see you, girl on the train
I hope soon you see you too
I see you, girl on the train
And your body is a miracle

I see you, girl on the train
Don’t make yourself small to disguise from the sheer fact of your potential
From the fact of your being here, now, as real as the life that stretches before you,
full of the feelings that comes from just before you leap off a cliff

Into weightless nothing
Into copious everything

This is my body. See me, girl on the train

This is my body
And I am not small

 

– Olivia Hare

– Jack Hare (photograph)

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