By MARYANNE RAFKA, Copy Editor 

Listen:

I am very bad at this.
I don’t want to hurt myself anymore,
so I’m drawing sunrises
and flowers
and happiness on my skin.
I want these things to stay.
I want them to be permanent.
I want to be able to look at myself
and see the beauty I’ve been ignoring.
I want to want to go out
and not only to have something to do
other than think about the hurt.

You see,
I’m not trying to make things hard.
It’s not like I wake up every morning
and plan out all the sad I’m going to feel.
But a long time ago
I found myself swallowed whole by all the thoughts
I can’t stop thinking.
I was left by people
who attached themselves to me
and then walked away,
leaving scars where hope should be.
I’m trying.
I swear I’m trying,
but these things take time.
The body knows to heal itself,
but sometimes
it has to keep picking at the wound
until the blood has drained the bathroom sink.
Sometimes
the mind has to rethink everything
way too many times
to end up coming up with the conclusion
that it’s time to stop.

When you find yourself alone
at 2:30 in the morning
crying for no reason at all,
it’s time to stop.
It’s time to claw your tear ducts out.
It’s time to break your bedroom mirror.
It’s time to burn the letters,
sweaters,
pictures,
books.