a couple of weeks ago
my love said to me,
nevine, you look exhausted
without princess or preamble

and i said,
i do?
as if i didn’t know
as if i didn’t feel

and i looked at myself
in the mirror
i looked
without having to look too hard

and i told myself i had to stop
for heaven’s sake
(no… for mine)
or else…


i caught myself running
and struggling
to catch my breath

i caught myself
heaving with exhaustion
at my own reflection

i caught myself giving
to others
giving care
and nurturing
and support
bearing their burdens
while they crumbled
beneath the weight

i caught myself
giving to others
but not
giving to me

and which crack
i wondered
had i slipped through
which crack
while pondering self-care?
where did my foot slide
beneath me?
when did my arms
not reach out to catch me
as i fell?

but i did slip
no matter how
or where
or when
i slipped
and found myself


into self-love
because who else
will love me
as i love me?

and i caught myself
at the last moment
i caught myself
by my very arms
and wrapped my arms
around me
and told me to
hold on right here, nevine

and while wrapping
i remembered
when i was a child
always running
through the woods
so i could hear the wind
sing in my hair

and while holding
i realized
i am no longer a child
and that running
through the woods
means never getting
to see the trees