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Noah Apr 2016
you crawl back to things you once played with
looked at
dabbled in
because you need that kind of comfort,
that reminder of when things were easier,
that familiarity
that allows you to clear your head
and calm your breathing.

jaw unclenches

sheets feel softer again

the rhythm of your heart
and your breath
dies down

the throbbing behind your eye
that emerges every day
sometimes more than once -
that dies down too,
and you forget to hope for cancer,
you forget to want it to grow

the way forward
is sometimes the way back -
at least for the time being

get your fingers to stop shaking
and then set off forward again
Noah Nov 2015
1.  I called the doctor every day for three weeks
     just to ensure that I was doing okay.
     I left voicemails
     that grew slowly
     more agitated, less soft and sweet,
     asking for my results,
     for my dose,
     hoping for some change,
     for some answers,
     and still knowing I'll receive silence.
     I've been through this before.

2.  I hold the small bottle
     and cringe
     as the smell of the alcohol wipes
     sting the inside of my nose
     and the needle point
     glances soft against my skin.
     I don't want to press,
     I don't want to push.
     I've done it before and I know
     it hurts
     and it will ache for days after,
     but it will get better.
     I know it gets better.
     I've been through this before.

3.  I glance at the pills
     on my dresser
     next to my alarm clock
     for the third time this morning
     and tell myself that I will take them
     before I'm out the door.
     I know I need to.
     I know it will help.
     but the effort feels immense
     and my body is loose from sleep
     and I can't seem to go the short distance
     and open it all up.
     I leave that morning
     stomach empty,
     bottle still ******* tight.
     I do this every day.
     I've been through this before, too.

I am stuffed full of things to do
and things to say,
but accomplishing something
is not on the agenda today.
I don't know when it will be.
I don't know that I want it to be.
Noah Nov 2015
I feel tender and raw
like the patch of skin I
ritually pick at
every morning,
a red and swollen circle
I barely notice anymore.

It's tucked away from the mirror
but my fingers find it
with practiced ease,
and as the sun rises
I bleed out the nightmares from hours earlier.

I did laundry last night.
The warm smell of clean sheets makes me sad.
I can't explain it
but I bury my nose in my pillow
and fold myself under the sheets
and the cotton on my skin
feels thick and tough.

Another injection is due this week.
I find relief in the fact
because my skin feels empty,
and walking around sore
and leaking oil from my thigh
is better than nothing.

I made a list of pros and cons
in my mind on the bus this morning,
but the pros fell short
and I fell out of love
with the rain's tinny sounds on the metal above my head.

I am tired.

I am always tired.

I don't try to stop it anymore.
Noah Sep 2015
I need someone to breathe for me
because between the binder squeezing under the too tight seat belt
and the panic clogging my throat
as I scramble for my glasses
so I can at least see the wreck in front of me,
I cannot breathe on my own.

I get in a car and suddenly everything around me is a threat,
and I can't do anything without second guessing myself,
so breathing isn't really a priority anymore.

Telling someone to breathe will not make them breathe.
Telling me to breathe makes me breathe even less,
because now I have to spit out the words I'm trying
while feeling even more like I can't do anything right.


If you want me to keep crying, tell me that everything is okay.
Tell me that I will be okay.
Make me think of a million outcomes.
where I won't be.

When you work in insurance
you don't even have to use your imagination.
I can tell you how many things can go wrong
and how often they actually do.
I am a bad statistic
but I can't calmly transfer myself to claims,
I can't ignore the process that comes after.
Sitting calmly at my desk and playing solitaire
Is not an option anymore.

And now I'm in class learning about
and personal finance
and risk management.

Being constantly reminded of your failures
does wonders for your self-confidence.


I drove to the endocrinologist a week after my first accident
and as they checked my vital signs
they said my blood pressure was a little high,
and my heart rate was a little high,
and they asked if I was nervous.

I didn't know then if it was excitement or fear.
I still don't.
My heart is still beating too fast.


Through forgetting how to live without panicking,
I've in turn forgotten how to do anything else.

My dresser has been standing empty in my room
since the beginning of the month
when I dusted it off and dragged it into the house.
My laundry has piled up
and I still need to buy a three ring binder.
I have boxes sitting in the living room that I need to unpack,
and I've been meaning to go outside and get some sun for years.
I have a mouthguard that I need to start using
so that one day my mouth doesn't close and never open back up again,
and I still haven't talked to my father about
what exactly I'm using his health insurance for.
I had a 150 day snapchat streak with a boy
but that disappeared with one day of panicking under the covers.

Whenever the light turns green
I have to stare at it for a few extra seconds
To make sure I'm not imagining it.

Every time I'm at a stop sign, I look left and right five times, ten times,
And still hold a scream in my stomach whenever I finally move.

I think in the crash my car wasn't the only thing to stop working.
I think I caught on fire that night too.
The circles under my eyes look like ashes, anyway.


There is one nice thing about crashing two cars.

It forces on me a sense of invincibility.
I am wrapped in a cape of steel and debt and guilt.
The collar is tight and scratchy and
it's like the tinny voice on the other end of the phone
telling me to breathe
because I literally can't afford not to anymore.
In a way my life is not my own to end anymore.

Besides, I just got a new mattress,
so I guess I should stay alive for another eight to ten years at least.
the last line is literally another thing on here i wrote a month or w/e ago and i just ?? don't ?? care ????
Noah Sep 2015
i can't write on you
because that demands something
besides apathy

i am too tired to
put any effort into
whatever this was

telling you goodbye
is still more effort i can
throw your way right now
@mathstat you're ruining my life
Noah Jun 2015
I am warm
burning inside
like millions of stars
like the awesome power
of the sun

I am trembling
like tectonic plates
ripping part
and deep down
forming hot new strength

I am stretched thin
stretching up, growing
reaching like vines
climbing up and over
a wall that goes on

I am dark
and cold and
swollen like the
deep ocean
all blind eyes
and sharp teeth

*(I am alive)
Noah Jun 2015
curled in bed
eyes pinched tight
whole body trembling,
sleep escaped hours ago
this is how it is trying to talk to you.

like pulling teeth with pliers
clenched in a small boy's fist
a wry grin on his determined face,
knotted eyebrows will ache for days

like being pulled by a speedboat
tossing and turning in the wake
skin on my palms already gone
taking a breath, giving up, letting go,
crashing hard onto cold water's surface

like my chest giving out
every breath catching on its way in
hands digging through a too messy bag
inhaler nowhere in sight, help nowhere in sight,
breathing is too hard to handle right now

like a beach beyond the caves
crawling through at low tide,
sand gritty under fingernails, sun stinging on flushed cheeks
lounging on sharp boulders that dig between shoulder blades,
then rushing back home to escape being trapped for the night
toes tickled with goodbye kisses from the dark, growing waves

through missing teeth and breath,
under wrinkled sheets, and sand and water,
I can't hear anything.
I never could.
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