In early 2014, I was emerging from the second of two abusive relationships in a row. I very deliberately carved out space and time to ground and center myself, to think about what I needed and wanted, to not get swept up in another toxic person’s intense and charismatic courtship. It was the best thing I could have done for myself, and I emerged from it renewed and with purpose, albeit still scarred.
And then I started chatting with Mattie Joiner, who was shy and magical and lovely, and they gave me back parts of myself I didn’t know I’d lost or given up on. And, given that Mattie is a poet themselves, it was natural that our shy courtship would take the form of exchanges of poems.
I would have preferred to give a whole, undamaged heart, but this is what I had. Small. Broken. Still good. ♡
“Four Chambers” was published in Mythic Delirium in September 2015.