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You cannot use someone else’s fire; you can only use your own. And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe you have it. Audre Lorde

Once, rising from bed, the proud goddess that I am, my lover caught my eye, and he saw my light. I could see it reflected from him. I felt myself, in all my strength and independence and power, and I could see that it attracted him. But he wasn’t quite strong enough for it, and it was not his to catch.

In fact, he appreciated my strength but it also repelled him. He wanted a woman who gave chase, who didn’t love him too much, who didn’t have any more emotional courage than he did. Once he told me, he would do another to be with the woman he loves but he wouldn’t know what to do once he had her.

That woman is not me.

A few weeks ago, seeing an ex-boyfriend from years ago, I realized what it means to have someone look at you as if you were magic. I saw him again, and I was my shining, saucy self. Today I’ve just dedicated an essay to him, and sent it to him. Yes, I am chasing him, a bit. But if he isn’t repulsed by it, if he’s been waiting to know for sure what I want (he does have a girlfriend), maybe he will make that change and cherish me instead.

I deserve a man who worships my fire but doesn’t completely bow down to me. I deserve an equal who will only fan my flames, not snuff them, not tell me I am crazy or out of control or that he doesn’t like how I dance or how many lovers I’ve had.

I deserve a man who is not scared of me, who is not going to try to hack off pieces of me to get me to fit into his mould, who wouldn’t change a thing, who will still love me when I’m no longer young, and in the brief moments my spark falters.

I want a love that will set my world ablaze, and me with it.