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  May 2014 Melanie Walsh
I remember when I was in the hospital and I didn't sleep for two days straight because I swore to god that if I did the demons would step out from under the bed and seep into my head.

I remember when it was three am, and I was shaken awake from the girl three doors down shrieking from the night terrors that her mother embedded into her skull with her fist and a belt when she was eight. But, they were then stored away until she was thirteen years old and a man swore that he'd beat her if she didn't cooperate. So, now they hide during the day, and creep back up when the sun falls.

I remember when I witnessed a boy unintentionally scratch at his skin until he bleed for an hour because the voices inside of his mind told him that if he didn't hurt anyone else, he would just have to hurt himself. and he swears he'd never hurt anyone besides himself.

I remember when I met a girl who had cuts up and down her arms and legs from when her mother told her she'd never survive the world because she isn't good enough. But, I swear to god that she was the strongest person I've ever met.

I remember when my roommate stayed up all night rocking with bloodshot eyes and deep purple circles underneath of them because she swore that if she slept the monsters inside of her head would crawl out and bleed into her soul.

I remember when the boy five doors down hit the wall so hard that it shook the entire unit because he hallucinated a man and a little girl trying to strangle him, and he swore he could feel the noose around his neck.  

even through all of this, for some odd reason teenagers think it's lovely to have deep scars and to hear voices telling them to **** themselves and everyone around them. I swear, nothing is lovely about demons eating at your brain and thoughts.

I remember when it was four am, and I was up weeping from the fact that people think my suffering is lovely.

I can swear to you, it's not.
***** hiding that I went to a mental ward. because I think that this is the best poem I've ever written.
a month ago, i got in a car accident that totaled my car.
i was making a left turn at a stoplight
and the driver of an suv was paying no attention to her red light.
she barreled into the front end of my car at full speed before i even saw her coming,
and then everything was shattered glass and metal colliding and screeching tires
and suddenly my airbags were puffed out like sinister clouds and my engine sounded like a death rattle.
when i opened the door to get out, the hinges grated like a scream.

but i wasn’t hurt.
i cried for six hours that day but i went to school the next one.
everything was fine.

it's just that since then, everything in my life resembles a car crash.

i smelled burning for weeks.
i still blink and see spiderweb patterns of broken glass.
i cried for two hours when i realized i lost the cd i made
just so i could listen to my favorite songs in the car.
when i hear the song that was playing, i have to turn it off.

my father picked up the shrapnel still on the street a week later
and gave me my charred, crumpled, unreadable gravestone of a front license plate.
he straightened it out and put it on my new car when we got it.

i broke up with my boyfriend three weeks ago
and as i left i heard sirens from inside his house.
the day after that, i was talking to another boy
and his promises sounded like ambulances with no paramedics on board.

last week there was a fatal car accident half a mile from my house
and i couldn't breathe for the rest of the day after i heard.

i have to turn left at the stoplight where my own accident happened every day
and when i turn i clench my fists around the steering wheel
like it wants to tear itself out of my hands and maybe it does.

i still check left and right and left and right during turns
even when someone else is driving.

call all of this a reaction to trauma,
but honestly i don't know what's wrong with me.

all i know is i cried with frustration, immature, pathetic,
when my mother and my father couldn't find a new car.
all i know is i grieved for my ford focus
like it was my only friend in the world.
all i know is i keep talking about this accident
even though i’m even getting annoyed by myself
and my fingers on the keyboard sound just like the policeman's as he wrote up the report
as i perched on a plastic backseat, shaking, face covered with tear tracks,
waiting, alone, for my father to arrive so i didn't have to be an adult,
waiting, alone, for an explanation of why this happened to me.

all i know is everything in my life resembles a car crash,
and there are sirens in the distance,
and i'm still waiting for the smoke to clear.
performed at poetry slam 4/25/14

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