Read time: 2 mins


by Eljae
20 February 2023

the body that I love lives somewhere between the 3rd and 4th surgeries. before venom coarsed its veins, pursuing survival once held in its softened joints; strengthened by self-preservation and deliberateness. amidst softened skin, kept supple by gentleness, I learned to thread and loop errant shreds of loneliness, inverted and satin-lined, to cloak this body whole. and though I could not fully claim it my own, for the hands of others still shaping it, still I chose to try.


but I am not grieving yet.


so when they spoke of picking, and pulling, and crossing this coating again, I wondered how much more flesh I could give. how much more of me would be taken, before I might call this body mine again. til finally I could tend to the bloom of my youth; enjoy its vivid newness. instead I found myself trimming and tucking      loose threads to spin into a new existence; while I waited for the next unstitching. what a cruel peace to be gifted: the liminality of stillness before chaos. before living becomes a questioned thing, and regardless of who makes this promise, who lays this plan, I wonder: if even God can be laughing now.


but I am not grieving yet.


now, I am clutching  a body I must give over once more. trusting that pursuit of survival requires ends and means; hoping I am neither. that the life it leaves is worth keeping. until then, I am gathering new textures to comfort, cushion, and cradle the only home I have ever known. joining seams and edges, laced with the efforts of every self I have ever been, that I might cloister this body, shroud it if need be; cover it on its path toward the next thing, or the next place, or the next me.

About the Author


Eljae’s writing has broached different topics on loving and building: how we make ourselves, our relationships and each other. Published in collections and magazines (Azza fi Hawak, Sawti Zine, The Colour of Madness, and Propel Magazine), she has also been commissioned and featured across different platforms (Dispatch FMI, Publicis Groupe Ltd, Poetry and Shaah, Boomerang, […]