Category Archives: self-love


(All photos are the property of Sarah DeAnne Peterson- and will not be re-used without the artist’s prior permission)
 “I love you.”
How many times had she uttered those words into the empty air with hopes of salvation? Nobody responded. Maybe the God of her neighbours had abandoned her in that house. She couldn’t find any reason to believe in Him anyway if even her idol did not answer to her prayers and nightly cries.
The thought of him filled her with that familiar rush of heat, that his warm, tender body was pressed against hers. No winds could shift them with their airy, prying hands. Now that made even the hot shower seem like a mere spark in comparison. No heat could penetrate her, not even the hot, wonderful kisses of the hundreds of droplets that raced towards her through the cold evening air.
The water coccooned her and she felt fingers resting against her breasts, eagerly exploring her as she once had been, not what she saw when she looked now into the bathroom mirror. The misty glass felt her gentle hand pressing against its firm surface as her face morphed into his perfect, trim chest. The tumbling rollercoaster of emotion and the soft moans added weight into the air around her. Steam rose from the tiles.
Hands ventured across the hills and valleys of her body, pausing excitedly at her soft belly. She had no clue why this little mound of flesh stuck vulgarly out of her. Not noticeable at first but she miserably gazed down at her body. Thus arose a tide of feminine questions. Should she lose it? Why was it there?
After all, she fed on nothing more than love.
Yet the hot shower too felt like a solvent acid, digesting her in the bowels of a colossal beast.
The thought of him was engulfing her as his fingertips brushed against her body.
Like a boa with a hare, she was being devoured whole.
Resting in his embrace was the pleasantest sensation to her, his lips kissing her neck, hers kissing his.
The sea of blankets was disturbed by the throes of pure love as his beautiful body kept appearing and disappearing between her arms. Soft cotton waves crashed against the shores of their bodies, yet they still swam together through the turbulence.

“I love you. I love you,” she sand gently to the glowing angel whose back she straddled with her legs. He smiled down at her, flickered and solidified as her senses became a white blur. His glacial blue eyes, velvet lips and slim, supple body screamed for her love. A red rush of warmth journeyed the length between her thighs and the peaks of her nipples. She wanted to sink deeper into the luscious coccoon, to never spread her wings and escape his glow, which always blinded her but which always told her that there was such a thing as faith. Oh, what a luxury it would be to drown in that crimson sea of sex and love!
But she could not…
A terrible hook was tugging her out of her reverie, and she gasped for breath on the shores of her fantasies as she was cruelly beached.
Where was he?
Did the bedroom mirror give her a clue?
The flat pane of this glass compass always pointed at her true north whenever her breath misted it. She saw once more her sweet beau, his face marvelling at hers as their eyes broke together through the abyssal depths of the glass. Her reflection had drowned her many times and his beautiful face always rose towards her at dusk. Her kiss left a mere red stain on the hard, colorless sheet.
Kneeling beside the mirror she wondered if the mirror was truthful, or whether the wall was. His pale perfection would rise from the dark uncertain realm beyond both honest mirror and dishonest wall-or was it vice versa to her? He came to her only when her eyes were filled with tears anyway and the air around her felt like a leaden weight dropped onto her chest. The mist against her eyes reflected his sweet and painful aura and drew her towards him as his face appeared again.
If she touched or even kissed the beautiful vision she would be pulled down the tunnel of reality and the pain would make her bleed again.
She did that well enough.
One cut on her forearm for every time she cried.
She looked at her painting for salvation. Everything made sense when she touched the warm canvas, his lips smiled at her, his smooth hips beckoned her to kiss them and pleasue him deeply.  She moved like a ballerina beside the never-completed portrait, working with the kind of ease and power she knew he had whenever he made love. In this warm room, she-nude and sweaty-was a divine queen, and he was her noble young king with whom she would share her life one day…a day that seemed too distant for her to grasp.
Silence was her lady-in-waiting.
Her paints were the powerful knights that quested in their search for him, directed by gentle quick strokes of her hand.
The anthem, “I love you,” rang through the room. He gazed at her through the deep, rich realm of the canvas, half-asleep and half-awake. Her body ached more as her angel explored her with his eyes…then he looked rather cross. A tear on the canvas? What blasphemous act could do this? Violently she grabbed the painting and ran her fingers down the crack.
The crevasse was widening as tremors shook the picture, the crust coming away at her hands.
Her deathly shrieks reverberated through the room, the poisoned air of sorrow trapping her inside. Her false god lay dying on the floor.
The black curtain of confusion and horror had been draped over her, and it was darker than the falling night.
What had she been doing? Bones and muscles lost their memory of movement as her mind spun around at a hundred miles per hour. Did he truly love her the way she did, or would he offer his body to the next person who walked his way?
Would he laugh from his heavenly abode while she wept for him, and worshipped him from below, chained at his feet? It stung her chest. Every beat of her heart was an angry drum which summoned forth an army of hot tears which streamed into the void between face and floor.
“I love you.”
Her chorus felt meaningless and foolish to her.
Her voice grew to a dry whisper.
Her altar to him was destroyed in a single diabolical action, and she had seen the darkness within his wicked young heart. The house had shifted into the heavy belly of a black behemoth, and a single fickle beam of inch-wide light cut inside to reveal the mirror to her.
Her had been swallowed up forever.
Not a ripple would taint the surface.
She only saw a broken, pallid ghoul from a gothic novel. Dry hair framed her face, and her naked salt-white body shook as a terrifying chill surrounded her. The blade of light too was now sheathed. The dirty maroon scars on her forearm were all the color she had. Sunken breasts that once were large and firm, cried for his love. The once shapely hips-supposedly made for childbearing- now looked as if carrying a child between them might kill her. A stench rose from the inside of her thighs as she slipped to her knees.
Cold iron locks chained his still exquisite figure in her heart. Perhaps he had resided there for too long, a lovely but malignant parasite who was devouring her essence from within. She was a nightmare angel who served to nourish a murderous god.
But she knew he had to be there.
She tried to see the ripple against the mirror, but none came to her.
All she saw was an ashen mockery of a marble Venus, with eyes half-blind from weeping.
Her voice grew hoarser as she breathed, until the night drew away one final, desperate breath:
“I love you.”


(Because there is such a thing as loving yourself too much…)

(All photographs are the property of Yannis Belkhir; photographer/model- and will not be reproduced without the photographer’s prior permission)

The mirror always tells the truth. It is an unforgiving eye that glows glass-like upon the blank wall. The eyes in the mirror are the windows to the soul of Man. Thus does the mirror tell us the state of out souls….

The words shot around through his mind as he bared himself to it.
In this place he was a king, four walls closing his heart and organ unto none but himself. A vortex of pleasure spun about him as he ran through the words once more.

The mirror always tells the truth. It is an unforgiving eye that glows glass-like upon the blank wall. The eyes in the mirror are the windows to the soul of Man. Thus does the mirror tell us the state of out souls….

The mirror always tells the truth. It is an unforgiving eye that glows glass-like upon the blank wall. The eyes in the mirror are the windows to the soul of Man. Thus does the mirror tell us the state of out souls….

He saw himself inside its glassy depths.
His form had drowned in it a thousand times, as had his wicked heart and his sinful soul. The mirror was now weeping for him, blinding itself for his beauty was too great even for the Lord of Truth.
For how long did he stare into it? What could he see within that he thought was so easy to love, that was so beautiful? Or was it mere passing habit to look upon a tall and smooth body that walked that fine line between masculine and feminine, icy blue eyes and brooding lips? Lips that could bring anyone to their knees with the faintest breath, or the slightest kiss.
The only one he could kiss now was himself.

The mirror.

He was drowning himself in it.

He was in the mirror.

His eyes blinked for a split second, eyelashes brushing past an intrusive housefly. The blue glacial spheres inside the flat glass had an inner glow to them. The perverse sunlight was eyeing him with joy, touching his bare back with its rays and feeling the length of his marble figure. Each touch however could not warm his soul. Both the one he looked at and the one in his body were now untouchable to the drifting gentle flame. A greater blaze was burning inside his body at the time, and his soul perspired with pleasure.  The eyes in the mirror had been fixed there as if by an adhesive, never to move away, never to cry. His would well up. His god’s eyes never would.

This was the sweetest truth in his young life.
Four concrete liars surrounded him, hissing under their breath at the writhing soft flesh beneath them. These walls had many patterns dancing across them, floating delicately across the solid canvas. To him they were solid dead behemoths with no souls. His soul was not there, his figure was not within it.
In this, he had seen whales course across the clouds and birds dart through the waves. A black sun, a technicolor moon.
False shapes and hues.
Two hours with a wall was unlike two hours with a mirror. He hated the wall. Why was he restrained in his own home? His deepest wish was to live in a hall of mirrors, to live with only his truth surrounding him. But he moved from mirror to wall. The odyssey from Altar of Truth to Walls of Falsity was hard on his heart and he paused to breathe, heart thundering inside. But the bed beneath him was the comfort he needed now to feel more  beautiful.

Silence reigned, except for his beating heart, a drum of creation and destruction of stimulating thoughts. Breaths pulsed through him.
His hands ran down his body, running from his chest down to the dimple of his navel and to the inside of his graceful, firm but soft thighs. His head spun out of focus in that instant, dizzy with heat and excitement. Drowning in the feel of his nude vulnerability was…

“I love you.”

The voice shook him violently, feeling like rusted steel scraped across his spine. He felt for blood on the sheets. Was he bleeding? No…But the feminine voice coils around him like a malign, bloodthirsty mist about to constrict him in its shapeless monstrosity.
“I love you.”
It was suffocating him and he gripped the bed, shivers rushing through his body. An anguished moan tore past his lips. His open palms flew up to his head, whacking against his skull with a resounding thud. Eyes looked up at the wall in horror as the venomous voice ripped through his veins. The untrue wall was now a wall of flesh, the girl who had run after him, a hungry beast in the body of a beauty. Beauty and beast all in one, just like him…but loving him too much. It was like a plague to her. A bane to him, the reddened lips only said, “I love you.”
Her eyes looked straight at him, sorrowful but gleaming with want, a goddess of famine about to put deep desire and hunger into his heart. She was making him want her more, but how could he touch her now? Why should he?
The words came back…

The mirror always tells the truth. It is an unforgiving eye that glows glass-like upon the blank wall. The eyes in the mirror are the windows to the soul of Man. Thus does the mirror tell us the state of out souls….

…but they were back in a meaningless wave. His sobs shook him as she pushed out of the wall, reaching towards him suddenly, grabbing at the air, screaming out her curse. “I love you! I love you!”
He attacked her in a blind rage. The blood rushed to his face, reddening his pale skin. His knuckles met her-met the wall-with a terrifying explosion of pain and anger as he roared through the process. Crying was all he could do, crying and clutching himself. Naked and small, he crouched before the rising succubus on the cold floor, and she advanced upon him, laying beside him, touching and kissing him-but was it himself?

The air in the bedroom felt like jelly, and he was seeing a bloodied blur swirling around him.
He had lost all sense of place…the gorgon’s breath was hot poison against his skin, melting him away….

It is dark.

He wakes up with a terrible scream. Drenched in sweat, spread out on the bed, slimy wetness clinging to his thighs, and sheets cast about him, this is his reality now. Nightmares are such strange things, it seems. Love is so strange too, so he muses. He has been created to feel the heat from himself and live within a world he has made for himself. Nothing else is for him. Thus he turns to the glass god, his salvation on the polished wooden altar. Inside the mirror he feels ripples, something rising up towards him to consume his body and soul…rising, rising up from the colorless waters…something would come, maybe SHE would, or maybe something else, something indescribable would.

The mirror always tells the truth. It is an unforgiving eye that glows glass-like upon the blank wall. The eyes in the mirror are the windows to the soul of Man. Thus does the mirror tell us the state of out souls….


(A story about personal evolution and the hope that comes with change)

                                         (Photo by Sakuna Gamage. Do not use without the photographer’s prior permission)

The drumming of mingling voices old and young, was resonant thunder against the petrified coldness of the concrete square. A rough hide of armor sculpted with cracks and crevasses was this forbidding entity. It had lived on, standing strong through the years of weathering. 
The gentle roar of voices was never over.
They were inconstant as the moon, tones changing, mouths changing, death and birth an eternal cycle. Footsteps came, footsteps went away from the dead behemoth. Shadows fell on it, darkening its ashen hue with another wash of hard color.

The thunder continued again, clouds insatiable brown mammalian physiques that shifted to and from other places.

Aerial thunder is the herald of more rain-blooms of all breeds start to cheer, smiles of color shooting across dehydrated lands which become verdant with every sip of nature’s airborne blood. So is the vocal thunder the rain that one flower looked forward to.
A small flower.
A little wallflower, seeing all but seen by very few. His was something of a strange time. His roots dug forever into the stony beast, miles beneath what anyone could detect.

More voices thundered gently.

He opened rosy petals, angelic and delicate to welcome-if he could-the fluttering, muttering butterflies-the social butterfly, a species in his own who would dance up to an open blossom and make his petals fall. He was still waiting.
White blended carefully into the lightest baby pink by the gentlest of all artists with the softest of brushes, his petals were light and warm as they stretched out. But the wall kept calling him back. His roots must not be pulled from the wall, from the welcoming heat of the ancient concrete.

Not noticeable, invisible, omniscient, knowing, inquisitive, innocent was he.

Whenever he was home he looked in the glassy pane before reaching back to his old, powerful guardian. Fifty kilograms of five foot five or five foot six-he had forgotten which, for who would care?-intelligent mammal, round of face, a skeleton thinly draped with taught and young skin. The guardian was nowhere as he sighed and stared at the smoothness of the concrete around him, fresh and green.

Here he was beautiful.
Here he was a monarch, here innocent in ignorance.

But what else was he but a little wallflower?
Why, he would think sometime later, was he unlike the others? Something none else were, was the wallflower; they did not embrace the protector’s power. Flowers of all breeds. Roses, jasmines, bluebells and snapdragons. Forget-me-not, lupines, rhododendrons and orchids. The wallflower was the rarest breed.
What a strange little blossom was he!
He wondered in his kingdom of the home, why was he not the beautiful one to the others? More sweat and more breaths, sighs through skeletal chest rattled out of him. He, the wallflower, was still so beautiful, so…beautiful….

Wallflowers have the queerest life.
They go on life with no change, misunderstood and unseen by the other beautiful, soft flowers in the field and unseen by the flirting, rainbow-dashed wings of the butterflies, extravagant lips kissing and touching the hidden hearts of these others. But the wallflower’s nectar is the sweetest, a godlike gift, water from the heavens which needs to be searched from the heart of the blossom. He knew at his heart, his weak gaunt heart was nectar, but what butterflies would take a sip? None he knew but he cried that his heart did not belong.
He wept rivers when their petals fell as the butterflies kissed his field-mate flowers. They were digging away from the wall, angrily releasing roots, gentle cascades of petals falling as a carpet onto the emerald grass, moss and sod.

                            (Pic by Banuka Athuraliya. Taken from do not                                                          use without the photographer’s prior permission)

The rains of change swept past.

Broadened back and chest, fuller face, twelve glorious solid kilos later in his prime. He stood stronger now, more than some but less than others. He paddled the midmost stream in his path. New. But as he looked at the wall, he saw the butterflies flitting closer.
Tears swelled no more within, but a glow of the purest gold showered from his heart, ethereal arms gently and strongly lifting the pools of divine nectar to the rim of his heart.
Where his feet were, petals formed a sweet and smooth rug. Rose-white. His petals.
Only the stubbornest held on, claws still digging angrily into his heart. Their grasp was light.
They would fall.

Wallflowers are a strange breed. They are beautiful in their hearts and minds, and feel the ringing pain in others. Innocence makes the flower’s heart ache and beat when the other heart aches and beats. Paddle evolution’s pristine creek though and they find beauty beyond their hearts could ever know.