Dark Nights (Huge TW: suicide mention, self-harm mention, etc.)

Sometimes at night I
wrap a sheet
tight around my neck
watch my lips fade to blue

Sometimes at night I
write FAILURE on my thighs
in red sharpie BIG & BOLD
rewriting it over and over
until my fingers cramp
and then I write it again

Sometimes at night I
etch love letters
into my forearms
in a language only I understand
those tally marks
mean so much more
than you can see

Sometimes at night I
count pills instead of sheep
as if that would put me to sleep
as if I would actually take them
as if I actually wanted to die
as if I even had that choice

Sometimes I do these things
I’m not supposed to talk about
silent cries for help
behind a door
locked and barricaded

I have all these behaviors
these thoughts
these tendencies
that make them want to ship me
to the nearest psych unit
before I can open my mouth
before listening to my words

I have all these ideations
these images
of my own death
something clean without much mess
somewhere no one has to find me
some way I can disappear

people find out
because I was never
any good at hiding

people think I’m crazy

this crazy is all I have

I forget what’s real

people don’t understand

everything I do becomes a symptom
everything I say becomes a symptom
all my opinions become symptoms

become a symptom

Because I
don’t even know what’s real

at night I
practice my own suicide
draft notes to my mom
trying to explain it’s not her fault
always having trouble finding the words

And when I
run out of paper
or out of ink
or thoughts
or words

when my eyelids get too heavy
and my vision gets too blurry

I loosen the sheet from my neck
I wash off the words
I bandage the wounds
I put the pills away

at night I
do what I can to get through the night

my survival comes so very close to dying

I question if I’ll even get to morning

I always do

I always survive
and I’m thinking

my survival might look
a little less like dying

my sheets will stay on my bed

dear heart

dear heart,
with every shaky beat,
you strive to live
when every other part of my body
tells you to stop,
you keep going

dear heart,
you love so hard and so deep
and at time i hate you for it
but you love still
without condition

dear heart,
the scars on my wrists are nothing
compared to what i put you through

dear heart,
i’m not really sure how you do it
you are so damaged yet so strong
so broken yet so resilient

dear heart,
i’m so sorry

Skeleton Keys

I locked my heart in a steel box the first time it crashed into my ribcage backed by my anxiety, leaving bruises that will never go away

I wrapped it in chains when my best friend announced that I was sleeping with all the guys in my 3rd grade class when I didn't even know what sex was, leaving me alone at the lunch table with my tear soaked lunch box and my poetry as my only company

I buried it in darkest parts of my soul when my 5th grade dance ended with a limo full of everyone but me, parked outside my house, music so loud that sleep wasn't even an option

I pushed it down deeper and deeper until I only felt its beat when it was repeating words on max volume

Worthless. Failure. Lost. Sick. Crazy. Dramatic. Mistake. Burden.

I threw away all the keys when I ended my first relationship and tried to go home but he followed me around every corner to explain how psycho he thought I was. I'm still afraid to be anywhere near his house

With my heart locked up tight, I learned that keeping my head up and shoulders back was enough to show everyone how together I really wish I could be

I learned that people will ignore my cries if I smile for just a second, ignore the cuts traveling up my arms if I lie and say I fell

I became content with living behind walls so tall that no one could climb over

But you –

You come and listen to the words I can't get myself to say and understand the thoughts that run backward in my head. You ask about my heart and my world freezes for my heart remained in that steel box for far too long and I don't know how to explain this to you

You want to know, you want to understand and for the first time I think that maybe I could tell you, but I don't even know where to begin

it's going to take me a while to find all the keys and before I let you unlock this box, I need to know I can handle its contents on my own

I want to know my softest, most fragile parts before anyone else can touch them

I need to get to know myself again

without the boxes, the locks, the chains, or the walls

before anyone else can see everything I've been hiding for so many years