it started with a friend
he’d tried it. suggested i didn’t do the same
there wasn’t any kick, he said
it was just uneasy pain.
something was ignited. months later
i thought i’d try it myself. just to see how
it felt, on a night of desperation. carefully
selected the spot. i’d avoided it up to now
but i made the mark. warmth fell over my fingers
cold steel against the skin. cleansing the wound,
i fell asleep soon afterwards. the feeling lingers —
i dreamt of it. the morning after, i groomed and moved on
until the next night. and the next. no, it wasn’t
the end of the world. just a new way to escape it
and i couldn’t be blamed. besides, i knew it’d have to stop.
it turned into an addiction. night after night, the scrape
of blade against skin. soft red blood on my upper left arm.
i kept it as much to myself as i could. why should anyone else know?
it was my second life, a way of dealing with the first
until one moment where i knew it had to let it go.
i’d grown out of it, and i wanted to throw it away.
i ramped myself off it. making the cuts, but lighter by degrees.
every one was going to be the last. until the one which was —
two days after my birthday. i was free!
yes, the cravings still returned,
and sometimes the cuts burned.
but i’d decided to stop, and that was it.
i still have scars, long narrow slits,
but they’re fading.
all i had to say was no.
The world spins and swerves, like
Hell it’s so unnerving. what
Else can i do but hold on tighter?
Sky and sun burn my eyes. they’re too bright
Can i just lie down here and die?
Regret and fear mingle, the
Embarrassment too great. i was a fool —
Am a fool for taking it. i hate this feeling and
Myself. i scream and shake.
— an acrostic, written for a competition at allpoetry.com. represents a person on a bad trip for me. i believe this is the first acrostic i’ve written. constraints are interesting, but i’m not sure acrostics are my thing. the picture summons up such a strong image for me that fitting it into “the scream” is a nightmare.
a body worn in, a soft pink pallor;
a mind in distress and a face without glamour.
her eyes lifeless,
with dread for tomorrow.
but when she sleeps, under soft white sheets;
a mind unwinds and a white heart beats.
her breaths full,
unworried and free.
thoughts of old friends, lost family and then
just as she is lost in love and joy
the night ends. she groggily wakes
and back return the pains and aches.
— written for an allpoetry.com competition to go alongside the picture above.