4.3.17: To Live in this Body

by Sarah Nnenna Loveth Nwafor ’20

I’m trying to find the parts of myself that I still own

But my body feels foreign

See no one talks about sex after survival
It is one thing for another to be shut out of this temple
But for me to be barred from my own would-be safe space?
When will I feel at home again?

When I touch myself
I can’t close my eyes

I have to remind myself
that these are my hands
Deep-breathe
I have to talk myself through this
these are safe hands
I have to walk myself through this
To remind myself that this body is not the abandoned house on the street corner
That I still live here-I still own this

I have to learn to separate sexual-trauma from sex
But for me the meanings are so symmetrical
When did I become so afraid of my own hands?
My own pleasure?
To live in this body?

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