Sadie. 18. Iowa.
Shut your mouth, open your mind.
1. I am selfish.
2. I am not looking at the bigger picture.
3. My mother felt this way, my father felt this way, and their mothers and fathers felt this way, so what chance was there for me?
4. I seek what is not there.
5. I make what is easy difficult.
6. I am looking for attention.
7. I think playing victim is charming.
8. I cannot let go.
9. Too much of me is spread between too many.
10. I do not let my bruises heal. I like how my skin feels when it is scarred.
11. He looks at me and I go limp with passivity.
12. I do not know how to touch, only how to be touched.
13. I pushed myself away to make room for others.
14. I try to make sense of myself to strangers who are not listening.
15. I have escape routes for getting out of my house, my friendships, my relationships, myself.
16. I ruin things for myself out of fear of them being ruined by others.
17. I expect Poetry to take care of me.
18. I am not trying hard enough.
19. I like the way this feels.
20. I want to be.
you said talking to yourself
is a good way to deal with pain
so i had a conversation with myself
all night long
confessed the ways i have hurt myself
and expressed gratitude for the ways
i have helped myself
i marked bruises with bloody hang nails
and kissed long untouched skin.
i stayed up all night
apologizing and complimenting
and fell asleep to the hum of my voice
when i woke up
i felt suddenly freer
and my sore vocal chords
hummed in relief and contrition
as i thought,
i am not a writer
i am a person who talks to themselves