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PROUD

I cried on my 15th birthday. Out of joy

Ever since I could imagine, I never thought of the future

nearing it felt, bleak

I was burnt constantly on my arms as a child

I first craved the mixture of metal and blood at 13

my bed was usually a closet or somewhere under a table,

the furthest corner in the house,

or sometimes, I slept outside

I never thought I’d surpass such a number

on my 15th birthday I didn’t see passed 17

and I was close on a number of times

I neared shut doors, and a coffin, often

they were the hardest, bleakest couple of years

I woke up to the smell of blood and a deafening scream

that was my own

more than I can count

I’ve slept with a knife and the only song that got me through the night

“love will not break your heart but dismiss your fears”

but my heart broke constantly

for the love of an angry mother

and an absent father

but I’ve made it!

I’ve made it to 19 but thought I’d never pass 20

By then my arms, thighs and stomach, were tree barks carved with letters

antihistamine and Zoloft were my only friends

the night ate me up,

as I held myself, hard, my nails scarring my thighs and arms for months on end

But you see, I was the only one that could hold me

I was the only one that knew

how hard it is to live with a future so bleak.

I am now nearing 24 years old and I see a future that is yellow, pink and gold

I see beauty within me and everywhere else

my arms, stomach and thighs are as smooth as silk

they’ve forgotten the hurt i’ve caused them

they’ve forgiven

I no longer fear the night

I no longer fear the past

though, I am so excited for the future I made myself

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