you gave me a pocket dictionary for my birthday,
and told me that it’s comforting to know that
there’s always words, even if you lose all your
money or your aunt gets cancer or you leave the
bathtub running too long and the whole house
gets flooded, the thousands of combinations of
twenty six characters will be there to brush your
hair like your mother did when you were young
so don’t worry about silly things like which dress
will impress your boss or drinking diet soda
instead of the regular kind because words can
cocoon you if you’ll just let them. so you’ll
understand why i was confused when you
told me to quit swallowing the letters, told me
you could barely recognize me: poems
wrapped around my rib cage and prose surrounding
my barely beating heart, stitches where the
pain got so bad that the words tore me right
open but all i thought was this is what it feels
like to be beautiful. and all you said was this
is what it looks like to be ugly.

— Annalise G., “English” (via petrichour)