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You can tell a lot about a woman by her charm bracelet.
Almost every woman in my life owns one.
My mother, my grandmother, even my aunts.
My grandmother’s is the loudest,
For it contains the most amount of charms.
Each one, a story to tell.
When I was younger, I would count them and ask about each and every one.
“What’s this one for?”
“Why do you have this?”
For each one, an answer, a story or two.
I was lucky enough to be gifted one myself.
It’s the quietest.
Only containing five charms.
I often wonder if my children will count them out,
and inquire about their meanings.
I wonder how many charms I'll have by then.
Is there a time I will stop collecting?
Will I ever cease to achieve?
I wonder.
Erika Gibson May 12
13 years old
12 remarks about suicide
11 red marks on your wrists
10 hugs
9 unread messages
8 breakdowns
7 FaceTime calls
6 worried thoughts
5 fingernail marks on your skin
4 painkillers
3am trying to keep you alive
2 times I thought you were dead
1 more weight on my shoulders

I was too young to be responsible for your emotional state.
I didn't deserve it.
You didn't deserve it.
It hurt to watch you hurt yourself.
It hurt to watch you starve yourself,
Slowly watching your clothes get bigger.
Everyday showing up with new self inflicted wounds,
One thought ran through my mind.
“It's all your fault.”
All I wanted was for you to feel better.
I still see you sometimes,
I still greet you with a friendly wave.
But you'll never know what you took from me all those years ago.
“It wasn't your fault, you know.”
Erika Gibson Apr 8
Through crowded restaurants,
Deep swimming pools,
Empty schools.
Through Underground tunnels,
Open fields,
Quiet shopping centers,
Houses I've never seen before.

Sometimes I even believe it's real for a moment,
But I don't wake up disappointed.
Because the next time I see you I get to say:
“Hey, I had a dream about you last night.”
And that's all that matters.
Erika Gibson Apr 7
It’s crazy looking back
What I would’ve done for you
But now I recognize
You wouldn’t have done the same for me

I thought I couldn’t live without you
But I’m still breathing
Slowly sinking
Erika Gibson Apr 6
There was nothing poetic about that night.
But it made me realize I’d follow you anywhere.
No matter how fast you run or how much trouble we get into.
Because getting into trouble with you is my new favorite hobby.
sports cars and empty parking lots
Erika Gibson Apr 5
i won't text you
I won’t call you just to ask how you are
i won't give you hugs
i won't go to your games
i won't be invited to your birthday parties
i won’t bring you up in conversation with my friends
we won't be partners for school projects
we won’t take pictures together, although you’ll remain smiling in every one i own
but every little poem like this will still remind me of you
and just for a moment i’ll still hear your voice in a crowded hallway
Erika Gibson Apr 1
I wish there was a word to express how much I love you.
A word to tell you how much I care.
An entire book wrapped into just one word.
What would that kind of word sound like?
I wonder, if such a word existed
Would you say it back?
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