It can be hard to explain
The pleasure of a broken rib.
Bruises bloom across the soil beds of your chest,
The warmth of the consistent ache
Almost like a friend in its constancy.
Fingers press and jab and fondle just to remind yourself that
Yep, still stings like a net of nettles.

But the sting sings with feeling,
The pain flicking the switches of your long abandoned limbs,
A prompting note that yes,
This will be okay
How could it not? The bandages now clean of blood say it all.

When one’s body has been bathing in boiling water for so long,
The water just teasing the line below your bottom lip,
The sharp crack of broken bone is nothing.
It is a gentle nudge that some bends can be eased back into place,
That this body can still feel,
That this body can still hurt,
That this in itself is not detrimental.

Don’t smile in spite of the pain,
Smile because of it.
Your ribs are a reminder that
Darkness does not have to seize you.
You can take its hand and walk it home.


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