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    “Never Regret Loving in Permanent Ink”

    “I’ll tell her to never regret loving in permanent ink,
    and that scars only give your stretch marks,
    something to gossip about
    and that hearts and stop signs are fraternal twins,
    lost in open roads and hollow chests.”

    Junior year of college I became obsessed with Jasmine Mans (@kingjasminemans). Her words triggered and continue to trigger emotions within my chest that I can’t explain. Jasmine Mans taught me that it’s okay to love. Love hurts, but it is okay to love.

    “Never regret loving in permanent ink.” 

    Post break-up. When I’m in bed and can’t breathe. When I can’t understand why someone left. Why me. Why, again, I couldn’t get something to work. When regrets roll over my chest like waves. Hard, cold waves of self-depricating language and painful shame. When it just hurts. Jasmine Mans reminds me that the scars of love serve a purpose. One day, someone will see the scars and think that they’re the most beautiful thing God did ever create. We (I) just have to be patient. I have to bide my time. I have to understand that open roads and hollow chests serve a purpose. 

    But what about when I just can’t? When the thought of my former lover leaves me clutching my pillow to my gut for three days? When I just cannot understand why love seems to be so fleeting? When I’m called to comfort a friend’s heartbreak when I can barely understand my own? How do I balance not regretting vulnerability with feeling so damn foolish? 

    There’s no manual for love and I just might be desperate enough to write one. It would have one line of text and many blank pages.          Just feel it. 

    You (I) can’t make love stay. We cannot make others give us the love that we desire. We can only control ourselves and that’s what Jasmine Mans’ poetry reminds me of. It reminds me that even when the love fades, my God it feels good to feel. To feel is to be alive. It may not be pretty but it matters. It matters that you give your full heart to every situation. That you’re okay with being vulnerable. That you recognize your love wounds are gifts for the right person. That even when you can’t understand why, you know that loving in permanent ink will one day pay off. Even if it takes some soul crushing pain to get there. 


    Excerpt: “Dear Ex-Lover” by Jasmine Mans
    Image: Jasmine Mans (@poetjasminemans) Instagram 

    Ashley Johnson
    Ashley Johnson

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