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“You are still here

and I will remind
you of this
now
and again
and always
as long as you need
to remember.

You are still here.

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You are still here
because of the echoing of heart
pounding blood
through veins made thin
by the force of want
and hurt
and need.

You are still here
because of breath
and lungs forced open
by icy cold
and air rattling
through chest
gasping from
the effort of moving
through this life.

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You are still here
because of muscle
and sinew and bone
because of running for miles
because of wet clothes
and hot showers
and weary body holding safe
your gentle spirit.

You are still here
because of truth
flickering beyond the curtains
long drawn over your eyes.
Because of secrets kept and pain witnessed
and stories nestled deep.

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You are still here
because of encroaching
darkness
and the exhaustion
as deep and brittle
and ancient as bones
returned to earth.

You are still here
because of letting the pieces fall
and gathering them up again
because of the collapse to the earth
and the return to your center.
Because of the silence inside of the primal and keening
moan that begins in the pit of  your stomach
and fills the universe with it’s lack of sound.
Because of the endless need
and the eventual satisfaction.

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And yes, you are still here
because of shame
because of the parts that are
broken and patched
and the deep ache
that drives you to your knees.
Because even these things
require presence.

Yes, you are still here
because the pain reminds you
that you are
but this is not the sum of all
that I will help you remember.

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You are still here
because of childish laughter
and pillow fights during snow storms
and fortune cookie wisdom
and the flutter of eyelashes against cheek.

You are still here
because of kisses
with strangers on street corners
and windblown hair
and the perfect
chocolate croissant
not yet tasted.

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You are still here
because of skyscrapers
and down duvets
and pounding surf
and burning fevers
and books with delicate pages
that smell like a reminder of faith.

You are still here
because of the collision
of souls
and the way toothpaste makes
your mouth feel alive
and pennies tucked in pockets
on the luckiest of days
and the way your soul pounds
when the beat finds your hips.

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You are still here
because of anticipation
and longing
and trust and truth
and mystery
because of what burns deep within you
and what you sense just beyond the veil

You are still here
you are always here
you will always be here

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And one day you will know all this
and more
but until then
just remember that
I am here

to remind

you.

You are still here.”

– Jeanette LeBlanc