By Lotte Stenfors Arnesen

Sometimes I think I can see

the footprints of pain that was here

traces on my body from enduring

For a long time, that was all there was

cells, vessels and curves imprinted


What does pain look like

fire, ice, knives

I know its sound, I think

cackling and howling

I hear it whispering when it’s tracking me down


Free me

Please just free me

From the pain graffiti


Does the body know now

how to let it go?

its memoirs so harshly printed

every letter hammered in place

graffiti on my bones

How can I trust the body that is me


Free me

Please just free me

From the pain graffiti


Does love, does kindness

leave traces too

I want prints of your hands to stay

fluorescent waves, firework tracks

my body will glow in the dark


Your eyes as they watch me sometimes

in a glimpse knowing me,

a piece of my core understood

your gaze leaves forever marks

lovely wing marks fluttering over my cheeks, hips, hands

love graffiti


Free me

Please just free me

With your love graffiti

The author

Lotte Stenfors Arnesen is a woman with endometriosis, a scientist and teacher of veterinary science, and a writer (of poetry, science and more). She is discovering now how intent she is on living passionately in spite of cruel illness. Exploring what it means to be simultaneously vulnerable, strong, feminine, masculine, human, animal. Discovering where dignity can be found when being compromised and when power is taken away. She insists on being seen as herself, not the disease: "I am the same, the rough sense of humour, the easy laugh, easy tears as before, but with a burden to carry. Changed, but the same. Passionate about life and love, less so about being told how to think".

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