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Melanie Jul 23
I've been asked how I can
miss someone I never met.
How I can mourn someone
that was before my time.

For the longest time,
I didn't have an answer.
I've searched again and again
until now.

It's simple. You just do.
I lost my sister when she was three days old. She was born eight years before I was, but nonetheless I miss her. I may not have known her, but she was still my sister, and Jeannie holds a part in my heart that can never be filled.
Melanie May 12
Trigger Warning: ****** Assault

There were five minutes until we had to be in the lights
when you dragged me backstage,
covered my mouth,
and used my deepest fears against me.

Four minutes when I tried to push you away,
but you didn't budge, instead whispering
"Just let it happen," while lifting my shirt
and pushing me down on your thigh.

Three minutes when your moans filled my ear,
you forgot about my chest,
groping your way down to my inner thigh.

Two minutes when I gave up fighting,
the tears being blocked by the dam of
your hand meaning nothing to you.

One minute when I shuffled to left stage,
every bit of me trembling in fear, disgust,
straightening out my clothes
and wiping my tears.

It's been five years since you
touched me in the worst way possible.
Through nightmares and flashbacks,
I remember it like it was five minutes ago.
  May 3 Melanie
If you could go back in time
And save yourself
Would you?
Melanie May 3
Trigger Warning: Self Harm*

The stencil is made, a bold, yet simple
mark with two meanings. For writers,
the mark is used to continue a sentence;
for others, the mark is used to continue a life.

The Golden Dragon Tattoo Parlor smells faintly of bleach.
Pictures of art and family cover the walls, a shelf full of trophies
shining under the fluorescent lights. Drawers with individually
wrapped needles and ink pots line the back wall.

The buzzing of tattoo guns overpowers grunge music,
voices of other customers overpowering the buzzing.
It only hurts a little bit, my artist tries reassuring me,
but his stories of drugs and arrests only worry me more.

Holding my breath I climb up on the black leather chair.
My shaking nerves show through my splotchy, tear stained face.
I clench my fists, embedding my nails into my palms.
The cluster of needles are hovering over my arm,
preparing to mark a permanent goodbye to the past;

Goodbye to the 10 PM moments, shooting up from bed
sweating, crying, my hand on my chest, feeling my heart
beating ba dump ba dump ba dump ba dump.
Sliding down to the floor to let the linoleum cool me.

Goodbye to the 12 AM moments, curled up on cold tiles.
Razor in my hand marking a tally for every flaw,
every mistake every bad thought I point out.
Short, fat, clingy, shy.

Goodbye to the 2 AM moments, plastering my thigh and
wrist with bandaids, later choosing to trade T-shirts
and shorts with long sleeves and jeans.
80 degrees won't stop me from covering everything.

The tears are there, not from pain
but from the familiar rush of adrenaline.
The sensation of feeling something other
than worthlessness and self-doubt.

A semicolon has two meanings;
continuing a sentence,
or continuing a life.
This poem has been submitted to Telluride Institute's Fischer Prize poetry contest.
Melanie May 2
Anxiety is being unable to breathe
no matter how hard you try.
This life isn't glamorous, it's messy.
It's tear stained, exhausting, painful.
It's a feeling that never goes away.

Friends tell me to relax, just breathe.
All I can say is I can't.
Relaxing isn't in my vocabulary.
They say this isn't normal, but how
can they be so sure if they don't get it.

It's just another day. And I'm alone.
My one-dimpled smile faltering,
knowing my normal is their worst day.
They don't understand this burden
of always being scared, worried, alone.

My mind's reeling breath shuddering.
Feeling the popcorn textured
picture covered walls closing in on me.
The pinks, greens, and whites of
my dorm warping around the space.

If I were to look in a mirror, I would see a girl
shrinking under the weight of her mind.
But instead, I stay on the edge of my bed,
going through the usual motions;
inhale, hold 2, 3, 4, exhale.
I wrote this poem about my struggle with anxiety, and how, sometimes, my friends really don't get it.

This poem was submitted to Telluride Institute's Fischer Prize poetry contest.
Melanie May 2
You are estranged.
We haven't talked in years,
and although I've invited you
you haven't invited me.

I've tried, and tried, and tried again.
Graduation, competitions, concerts, and plays.
You weren't waiting in the wings
or sitting in the stands, the audience.

No, you were at home.
Your lakeside house with big windows,
with your real granddaughters, cousins, nieces.
Your real family.
While I was wondering what I did to deserve this.

But I kept trying.
I kept calling, inviting.
You left me in the dust,
constantly leaving me with your voicemail,

Hi, we can't come to the phone right now,
but if you leave a message we'll get back
to you as soon as we can. Thanks! Bye.

I try to unfollow, unfriend.
But that would only put me further away
from cousins I don't know.
People I've never met.

I give up.
I'm done trying.
If you still care,
the inviting's up to you.
For years, people in my family have wanted nothing to do with me. It's not as bad as it used to be, but every time I'm getting ready to see them for a few hours I panic and wonder if it'll be the last time I see them, if they'll decide to cut me off again.

This poem has been submitted to Telluride Institute's Fischer Prize contest.
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