this came out as a river of fearful youth but i swear, it is intended as a thank-you letter to my dearest Protag.

i just want to say, 

thank you for saving a dying poet. 

you saw a worth in me that nobody else did, 
dear Protagonize, and i cannot thank you enough for that. 

i know i'm not better, 
i know i'm not healthy, 
my abdomen is a canvas of red
and everything that should be in my veins is not

but i'm alive. 
al i ve 
such a foreign word

but i'm here, 
breathing and maybe not whole but coping

the winter is over, 
my dears. 

the winter is over and i have survived
maybe not thrived
but i have survived

and if i can survive the winter, 
i can survive anything. 

i know i'm too far gone, 
ghost touches and chipped nailpolish 
compressed ribs and dead houseplants

a constant refrain on 24/7 looped tv inside my head

but this site is always here to come home to, 
when i can slip out of my skin 
and back into the world i have created

a world of poetry 
where my words matter

and there is someone to listen to my grievances

i can't thank you enough. 

i can't, and i am thankful that you are here,
because one day, 
there will be another dying poet
with bones of metal 
and a soul of gold

and they will be better than me 

and they will come 

and they will stay 

and i hope that there is still a home for them here, 
lonely yet-to-be writer who just needs a place to be for a little while

my heartbeat is fake, 
it is a rhythm tapped by ink through my skin, 
but whenever warm fingers overlay my cold wrist

they can see a living being

and that's all i really needed, wasn't it? 

so here is gratitude 
for a life saved 
and a life bleeding through with poetry, 
a world to wrap over my head when the noise is too much

because one day 
someone here will pass me on a street. 

they will pass me on a street in all my queer glory, 
and they probably won't notice me. 

and i am thankful for that, 
for the yet-to-be poet to seek refuge here
and for the fact that nobody here will stare at me on the sidewalk

if only merely because i will exist to be looked-over. 

The End

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