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Jules Jan 2019
the condominium i have stayed in
for almost two years now
stands at forty-five
stories high.
from the ground below
it looks like some skyscraper
a scrambled mess of uniformity
and abstraction.
i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
as i stare up its great height,
i find myself counting the windows,
trying to pinpoint my temporary home
from my blurry place on the earth below.
around this tower of concrete there is only air.
behind it the sky sits white and endless.

i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
i find myself thinking:
if i jump,
i'd never survive the fall.
it is one of those high-enough cliffs
that i'd feel myself falling
for an age
before the shatter.
a breathless,
before the end.

after looking my fill
i bring my gaze to the path in front of me again,
my mind returned to earth,
and walk,

i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
once, i opened the door
to the great open sky
and met the eyes
of the earth below.
the height brought with it
a vertigo i could not name.
from here,
the road below was perhaps as thick as a finger.
my heart pounded in time
with the shriek of traffic.
my feet lifted onto my toes
and i thought:
the fall would **** me,
i thought:
i am so small.
the idea is comforting
in the strangest way.

i step back,
my feet refinding floor tile,
hands fumbling for the handle,
and close the door.
i'll be on this cliff's edge forever
Jules Sep 2018
dear god,
(if god is listening)
i have not died

when the ledge called to me
i did not answer;
when the blade stared at me
i did not falter,
did not offer my hand in greeting
did not hope for it to hold me;
i lay there
and waited for the day to break.

the world kept turning
and i have been left here,
in the strange in-between,
in the stillness;
all the unremarkable tasks
and the things i should be doing -
if i am not swamped by sadness
i am burdened by work;

it is all right.
i have not died
by tomorrow i will return.

dear friends
(for you are the last true thing)
the heart is still heavy
but sometimes the burden is shared.
my hands are still shaking
and i am so tired
but i cannot wait to see you again.
i have not died

dear voice in my head that tells me to die
(i have to believe you are false)
you are so good at convincing me
but by some foolish miracle
i have not died

dear myself
(it has been a while;
come home soon)
yes, i know;
we are both tired
and drawn to the exit sign
but we have not died
we are still here
and quite alive;
it is all right
even if we are only waiting
for our life to remember her purpose;

it is all right.
we will not die
i don't know
Jules Aug 2018
in the vast crumbling timeline of the universe
13-year-old me is wondering
whether i exist.
4 years is a long time,
after all,
maybe enough to choose the exit,
leave the stage,
throw away everything
she is currently trying to hold together.

but here i am,
after all,
so she must have made it;
trekked through the perilous path of the future,
which is just another word for the unknown
which is just another word for nothing,
for empty,
and made it here.
and here is not a field of green,
but maybe an oasis in the desert.

i am proud of her, even if
it is not halfway done,
even if the road stretches dark and endless,
even if she has brought with her nothing
but fistfuls of doubt
all her stupid starving for reassurance—
will i be here in 3 years?
in 5 years?
in 10?

like a haunting hold,
a ghost.

but we have still made it,
after all.
for me,
and my 13-year-old spectre,
the question is not
how do you see yourself in the future
or where do you think you will be by then
or even what do you want to be doing in ten
but merely

will i see myself.
will i see myself.
will i get there.
it's fine, asking just means you still have hope for a positive answer
Jules Aug 2018
how lovely
that depression is acceptable only until the breakdown.
it must garner sympathy but must not inconvenience,
look pitiful but not be unproductive;
like you are allowed to be empty
but only until the deadline,
will receive prayers and patience
only until your sadness translates into lazy;
they will claim to understand
only until you have stayed days in
without seeing sunlight,
fallen behind on classes,
missed projects you cannot return to.

your education
and your government
will allow you to be suffering
up until it ties you to bed,
makes you miss days of work
and drown in debt
and lose yourself;
it will call these faults
the folly of an able,
merely careless mind;

mental illness
is a ghostly disease —
it exists
and everyone fears it
tells you to check in regularly on your friends for it
speaks of it only in respectful tones
a hushed whisper
about the rising death toll
or buried in a joke about the great
millennial existentialism
(how wonderful
that we have grown close enough to darkness
to be able to laugh at it)

and yet you cannot call it real
cannot claim it as an excuse
for not sleeping
or not eating
or not waking
or —
not working.

how stupid that we
are allowed to be hopeless
so long as we are not tired.
here's a secret: the system does not care about you
Jules Aug 2018
i have arrived at a point
of desperate fury;
a final certainty
that there is no longer a sustainable solution;
the realization that god was right
the only way to fix this horror
is to wipe it clean,
flood every sea,
drown everything in saltwater
and try again,
pretending all along we have just begun—

but no,
this time there may be no noah,
no single good survivor
except maybe the ones wronged the most,
maybe only the last of the trees,
maybe only the animals

this is to say:
if the human race went extinct
i would not grieve.
only thank the soil as it swallowed me,
only be disappointed because god,
was this the best we could do?
i would love to return
to a belief of more hope,
the someday-vision
of an earth where nothing suffers
and justice wields her scales like a weapon,
needing no blindfold,

but nowadays i only wonder
how we let the earth become this rotten,
let it get too far
and now the problem seems unfixable.
now, all we have to show for it
is a cumulation of debt
and a system that does not care for us.
death was right:
humans are foolish.
we are so good
at keeping things
when they are already lost,
tying them to our chests with hope
thinking we can save it.

but what better way
to halt the plague
than to raze it all to the ground,
set fire to the rotting at the core,
cut the roots and then restart.

to the child-saints we lost too early,
i pray:
tell god,
burn everything.
we need to try again.
we’re running out of options
Jules Jul 2018
the images
come in flashes,

red lines on my dark skin;
a loose noose;
a cliff to fall from
and a fear of falling.
the tip of a sharp blade
against my throat.
(for some reason
i never think of guns.)

they come unbidden
in the midst of everything:
while i am eating;
in conversation with family;
in the shower;
when i wake up in the mornings
wondering why i have still awoken,
and in these moments,
time slows,
stretches out like a drawn-out punishment
while i watch myself stare into nothing.

the indescribable messy affair
of limbo,
of nothing being bad
but nothing being good;
of things not being terrible,
but feeling that they are about to be;
of wanting to leap off the cliff
before you are pushed off;
a pretence
of control.

outside, the storm keeps raging,
and a tree knocks on my bedroom window.
i sit up in time to see the lightning
illuminate a leaf
blown off of its tree.
in the morning, the leaf will have dried
or be floating in flood.
it will not see the storm pass;
it will only turn yellow
and crumple under someone’s foot.
a satisfying crunch.
i wonder only if the leaf had the chance to leap
before the wind pushed it off.
lately i have been wondering
that if everything leaves eventually,
what is the point of arriving at all.

in my bed,
with only the thunder to speak to,
i lay back again.
i plead with the images to let me sleep,
and close my eyes.
this was written in one go and unedited, for the words have been begging to be written down for a long time. my only regret is that i cannot properly tag this with its triggers, but i do not feel comfortable posting this anywhere else. it is nice that i can come back to this site always, even after half a year, when there is little else. if you are struggling, do not go yet. i only want you to know that you are not alone in the battle.
Jules Nov 2017
“what are your special skills?”

lately i have mastered the art
of silent tears
and wordless crying,
shuddering breaths
instead of wracking sobs.
my eyes don’t even get red.
if i do it right,
i have the exclusive ability
to break down in a full room
without anyone noticing.

i can brush my weak gums in front of the mirror
and watch blood drip onto my uneven teeth
without flinching.

i can give the best i have
every time
and still my brain can convince me—
this poem is almost unbearably sad
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