Sometimes, in quiet moments, I think how I would like to go back to Those times.
To take one large, bold step back and be there next to you.
Maybe you wouldn't be able to hear how I would whisper in your ear.
Maybe you would just turn your head for a brief moment, glance behind your shoulder at the closed bedroom door.
Maybe you would feel, for a brief, brief, slice of time, that you weren't alone in that Darkness.
Maybe you would feel my hand on yours; lightly, tenderly, but with a force so strong and full and absolute...
Maybe you would stop. Set down. Breathe.
Maybe the Darkness and the Fire and the sharp pull on your body would be cut, released, freed...
Maybe, with whispers and placed hands and tenderness I would send all of That recoiling and falling and diminishing into a dark stain, small and powerless but there only to remind you of what you'd overcome.
Breathe. Breathe and breathe.
Hands and whispers and silence.
Closed doors and trembling fingers and tears which burned, burned, burned their way down familiar paths.
If I could, I would be there.
If I could, I would show you, in the way you would turn your head and see a branch swaying in a breeze.
You would see, then, in that moment, in silence and with salty, stinging cheeks, you would see.
You would see, as I retreated from you, leaving only a trace of my hand on yours, you would see the small branch swaying, swaying, swaying in that breeze.
And it would all come crashing in.
It would all burn away to that small, dark stain on the floor.
It would all go, go, go and you would be left, there, with shaking fingers and a closed bedroom door and the branch would go on swaying gently back and back and....
I would leave you with the realisation that you were, you are, you always have been
Edited version published in Elephant Journal for Self-Injury Awareness Day, 2015: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/03/helping-others-on-self-injury-awareness-day-poem/