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I evolve in his love
one day at a time,
my soul unravels while
its temple, my body
gets accustomed to the
tastes and textures of
clothes befitting a queen
slowly owning it
as if I’d been born in it,
a perfect rose that
takes its time

my womanly spirit was once
clumsy and uncertain, but
in breathing the air of
his attention and
sleeping on the lap of
his tenured patience,
I’ve learned to let my hair down
and flaunt it as my crown
and now dance to the tune of
the city’s rush hours in
high heels and the gait of
an iron butterfly

because he loves every part of me
loves me just the way I am
and I wander fearlessly
in that nurturing freedom,
discovering myself

and he doesn’t rush me
or push change on me;
I am all the beauty he’ll
ever need at any given time

still, his constant appreciation
keeps me open, and
keeps me learning, and
I pick up on what he likes
and I hold them in my heart,
seeds in a garden that
can only get lovelier,
until such a time that
I can bring forth the
bright new petals,
another stage of bloom and
more layers of fragrance
with which to surprise him,
and in the process,
surprise myself

I no longer find irony
in a love that both
preserves me and improves me
because love is large enough
to occupy a paradox
and still make every bit
of intuitive sense

and though I’ve always known
my identity is not
in the brand names I wear,
I learned that
neither is it naked,
or nameless

who I am surrounds me
passes through me and carries me,
purifies me and decorates me:
both the hibiscus behind on my ear
and the summer it belongs to

his eyes watch,
and his heart follows
in lithe obedience

“Series Serenade” by photographer Mecuro B Cotto


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