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Grace Hammond


These words
that are my own
Are my blood and
are my bones.

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While It Lasts

October 30, 2015


The body I have is beautiful. The way I can move it and feel the movement. The cells that coat my being acting as sensors to tether me to the world in which I live. The blood that runs beneath my skin; I can feel it, I can feel its warmth and it fills me up. It keeps me alive. I can feel my breath. I can feel my breath as I have never felt breath before because now I have so few left. And I can taste the fear in my mouth, in the air that I breathe. It floods in through my teeth but I choose not to inhale it, as I never knew I could. I can choose not to taste the death that gropes at my lips. I choose to feel the world that is living and the me that lives in it while I still am.

And it is so beautiful.

And I feel beautiful without even considering how another would perceive me right now, because I am beautiful in my being alive. And I can see everything around me with clarity, and I can feel my gaze that is illuminating as I never knew it could be. And I’m crying, but it’s beautiful, and I my tears are beautiful and I can feel them on the skin of my cheeks and I can taste the salt on my lips. And the air stings the wet skin and I feel it, I feel it and I relish in the physicality which we deem life. And my heart beats, it beats in my breast and in my throat and my stomach and mouth and I can taste its pulse deliciously on my tongue. And I am standing still, but my body does not rest, and I can feel it, I can feel it as though my skin wasn’t the same hide I have worn all my life. And I could count my remaining breaths in just one, but it is only now that I can feel myself, the taste of myself in a body that is mine. These hands I call my own, these feet, these eyes, and I can feel myself attached to everything that anchors me to the world around me. And I can sense it, through this vessel newly felt, as it hums and lives and thrives.

And it is beautiful. It is so beautiful.

And I know that I have known of this beauty, and I was aware that the world is beautiful, but I never knew what it was to feel its beauty. To feel my own life within me and the life that flourishes around me. And I am overcome with emotions I have felt before but not this deeply, not this strong. My heart seems to have expanded and now my entire body is comprised of its beating warmth that I can feel with my entire body. I have never known emotions to be so physical. My torso and limbs throb with feeling, and I am happy, so happy I can feel it in my throat and see it enveloping my gaze, for I have never seen the world in this way, I have never felt myself existing in this way. And I am overcome with joy, such pure joy despite everything, and I can feel it living in the marrow of my very bones. It lightens me, and I feel almost levitated in my ecstasy. And I wish, I wish with all my being that I had known I could feel like this, and seen that I always had the ability to touch the world in this way. For I am no more alive now than I was before. And the tears flow freely as I try to feel everything, to soak it all into my very soul to take with me, to remember. I try to feel all that there is for me to feel that before I never knew to feel, that I never knew to revel in. And I feel a colossal sorrow entwined with my joy, for now that I have discovered the feeling of life it will be forever taken from me, and slip away eternally.

And it hurts.

I hurt so deeply it feels as though I have been ripped; torn open ferociously from the inside. But it is bittersweet, for I can feel the sorrow and rage and guilt in my body, and I can feel the life that runs through it all like a silken cloak coating everything inside me and upon me. And the sadness and grief and fear intertwine with the elation and bliss and gratitude, and my heart that is my whole body sings with all of their voices and I can feel them all.

And I love it.

I am in love with the feeling of being alive. But it is not an infatuation born just this night. It is a love that I have loved for all my days, my hours, my seconds. It is a love I have always had, always owned. Only now I can feel it. Only now that my thoughts and my body are slipping away.
I can feel it. 


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