Poetry | Life

Spoken Word Poem by JR


In my earliest memories I am dead

My heart as cold as the winter breeze

That nipped my fingers

When I was too scared to go home

My eyes are dull

Like erased pencil marks

The imprint of

Unanswered prayers

Left by desperate hands

Crying out with each death

Pressing

Pressing

I’m four years old

In my father’s hands

A computer cord becomes a whip

I do not know what I did

But with each crack against my skin

I die

And I die

And upon each pause I am alive with hope

That this pain will subside

I am seven years old

The first time my dreams are thrown into my face

How ridiculous

Of me to hope

To believe

And I die alone

Isolated

Torn by this disappointment

This realization that my parents love themselves

More than they’d ever love me

I am eight years old

And for the first time

I accept

This death

This sweet release from emotion

From love and expectation

I am dead

And dying

And grateful

I am eleven years old

My mother sucks life from the end of a pipe

Says,

When you’re older

Join me in this bliss

Says,

When you’re fifteen

Fifteen like the girls and boys

She corrupts

With her pipe

Join me, she says

And I am dead

I am dead

And this time it feels final

But

I am eleven years old the first time I pick up a pen and write

These feelings I cannot hope to find the words for

Pour out of me

Dragging with them

Years of tears I would not let fall

Years of feelings I would not allow myself to feel

I am eleven years old

Ten years dead

And this pen has saved my life

Although

The first words I write are

“I want to die”

Although

My first poem

Is a song of suicide

These dead words summon life in me

My pen is against the paper

Pressing

Pressing

Desperate hands drag life from this poetry

And with every breath I feel it

My heart

Beating

Life

Life


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