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You taught me how
to take

I’ve gotten accustomed
to love being
only about giving
for as long as
my heart could remember,
it’s always been
about sacrifice,
about compromise,
giving up a part of
myself in exchange
for some time,
some understanding

it was love with
a tightly closed fist
that I’d known

it made of me
a hungry heroine
with less and less
to give, each time
whose needs
went unspoken

but you came
and you gave
the way I’ve known myself
to give:
without hesitation
or regret

early into love I would
turn your compliments
in my hands and
find no concealed
motive behind
and it is with you that
“I am beautiful” found
its place at the top
of my mind,
so easy to reach
with every thought

then deeper into this
love, you said,
what’s yours is
also mine,
and I started to believe
what you believe,
that I deserve
every good thing
and with you my times
of need became eloquent,
as I’ve proven you
wouldn’t let me
want for anything
if you could help it
and all I have to
do is ask

you showed me
there’s womanly dignity
in leaning on you
and I saw completeness
in a moon that
borrows its light
from the sun and
owns it
to give away

and I have so much more
to give

“A Stroll through Istanbul”
by photographers Richard Unis and Bernadette Johnston


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