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My Raven

By Charlotte Miles

The raven lands beside me on the cold bench.

I smile at her, and her eyes soften before she turns away.

There are a thousand things that I could call her.

Sweet, or kind, or gentle, or the person to whom I belong.

“I love you, my raven.”

“Oh, shut it.”

All of these things I could say would be lies.

She is not sweet or gentle, even to her lover.

I could call her a thousand other things, too.

Sharp, dangerous, broken, all the opposites of that before.

“I love you, my raven.”

“Oh, shut it.”

Those would be closer to the truth, but not quite there.

The best thing to call her is alive and fighting.

The only thing I could say is that she is hers and hers alone.

I’ve never liked the idea of ‘belonging’ to a person.

“I love you, my raven.”

“Oh, shut it.”

We belong not to each other, but to ourselves.

I love her, and I will share my heart with her.

Despite this, I am mine, and mine alone.

The raven wraps her arm around me, pulling me in close.

“Oh, shut it.”

She speaks, though I have not uttered a word.

I smile, and I understand what she means.

‘I love you,’ is not a turn of phrase that will ever leave her mouth.

She has other ways of reminding me that her love is just the same.


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