surrender

before i met you
i thought relationships were a balance
of sharing and withholding
some corners of the soul
were never meant to be seen

but you saw right through me
your dark eyes laughed
at the thought that i could keep secrets
you read me like a leisurely sunday morning book
my impenetrable vault
was just another chapter
i ran, throwing up shields
trying to distract, deter, protect the ugly
but you saw me
and you did not turn away

i’ve always loved portraiture
creating beautiful images
but my subjects were always posed
edited to portray the glamour
i thought the public wanted to see
you taught me the value
of capturing truth
the deeper dimensions of beauty
found in off-guard honesty
you taught me
it’s okay to not be okay.

it is only in surrender
that i found healing
that i stopped striving
that i realized the value
of speaking my truth.

-a.j.

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