It was last summer when I realised that my body was a canvas, left unpainted out of fear that someone would look at my colours and refuse to call it art.
When I left the house bare chested, wearing only sea salt and sunlight because those are the accessories that make me feel most beautiful.
When I grazed by the beach and felt the sun press up against my back, his lips so tender I barely noticed when he left a mark.
When I looked in the mirror and noticed my skin getting darker.
When I believed that my body was attacking me and deserved to be punished with skin lightening creams and bleach.
When I replayed memories of my aunt telling me that fairness is beauty and beauty deserves love.
When I realised that everyone wants to be loved.
When I decided to watch the rest of the summer from inside my room, only seeing his colours through rays of light which crept through my windows.
When I would go out at night and dance with the moonlight, I never had the courage to tell him that my heart belonged to the sun but somehow he knew.
When I met a young man who walked along the shore in the evenings, picking up fragments of shells and putting them back together.
When I realised that nothing is ever truly broken.
When I got so distracted that I didn’t even notice that the sun had come up.
When the young man looked at me and said that I looked different in the sunlight, as though I was suddenly at peace.
Forgive me body, I forgot to love you.