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Oct 2016 · 4.0k
Venice.
Sarah Kersey Oct 2016
On the canals of Venice,
a grumpy old man
performs an act of bravery:
he smiles,
despite the overwhelming
yet crushing
sensation
that all
will soon
cease
to exist.
Oct 2016 · 1.6k
Ignite
Sarah Kersey Oct 2016
It's the slow beginning of the burning of a torch before the Olympic ceremony commences
Instead of the 200 meter sprint or who can do the butterfly in the least amount of seconds, we measure the diligence of our players
It's like having a world record book full of seemingly average accomplishments that feel like the biggest struggle of all of eternity
We are the gladiators of the apparently normal, often not knowing how to show our love for others because we are so distracted by finding one last bit of strength to carry us through the finish line
And yet we are here
Gaining medals for the simple pleasures such as going a day at college without missing our pets back home
And it's nothing extraordinary
But it's something
We are seeing a faint spark of light in all the new blank, dark and unfamiliar canvas that is our new territory
And the future stands before us in the shadows
Waiting for us to find the determination to ignite our torches
Sarah Kersey Oct 2016
I'm pretty sure these curtains are made of old denim that once gripped onto another human being's veins
But when I see these scratchy teal curtains with a meticulously hidden yellow stain, I no longer see the days that I occupied in which the carefully constructed tears in the fabric of my jeans matched the unnatural ripping sound of my shirt on the night that I thought the world would end
Instead I see the possibility of new stains that don't feel like ghost stories, but instead tales of unfortunate mishaps to find laughter and lessons in

The first time I ever remember genuinely feeling overwhelmed with heart wrenching sadness with no lesson attached, I was seven years old and laying in a bunk bed
Here I am eleven years later, in a new home away from home and we're back to twin beds and chutes and ladders
But when I see these bunk beds now I don't think of the days where fear weighed down my brain with such a dread that I could barely lift my head to peer over the edge, paralyzed with terror and thoughts about how much it would hurt to fall
Instead I think of the risk I took by jumping into the unknown, daring pain to catch me but trusting that it wouldn't, and in return finding someone to catch me down below with hands like pillows and eyes like oak trees

That boy with the oak tree eyes has a heart full of sunshine that never burns
He gave me a plant the other week and it took my breath away
It's a simple succulent with stripes like a tiger and stems like garden snakes emerging from the ground
A brief thought flashed through my mind that I am not often trusted with living things
It was so hard for me to believe for such a long time that a person who could not take care of herself could manage to care for another
But when I looked up at the miraculous enigma of a person standing in front of me, handing me a living thing to love along side his own self, I was overwhelmed with the understanding that I have always been able to care and to love and to prosper, even though I had so often doubted my own competence
That plant sits on the desk in my dorm room now, living quietly next to my first aid kit and box of food

Time is agonizing and it makes fools of us all more often than not
I have felt stuck in a never ending carousel of pain more than I'd like to admit
But here I am, with my feet firmly on the ground
And the words "it gets better" window stained on my forehead,
reminding all of you that there is hope everywhere
Sometimes we just have to shine light on it
Oct 2016 · 587
I Tried Rhyming Once
Sarah Kersey Oct 2016
I'm knocking on a door when I know nobody's home but I'd rather keep knocking than feel alone again
The static is louder than the doorbell sounding and everything is
Pounding pounding pounding
In my head and telling me that going to bed is the answer but how am I supposed to sleep when the world is churning with cancer
So I'll keep standing here making noise that no one will ever hear in fear that the gift I once bled has become something you consider dead

The elder version of me that didn't know how to sleep or breathe or eat has come and gone and I'm not sleeping on the front lawn anymore
I'm not staring at the grass and hoping it absorbs me to the core
Instead I'm breathing and eating and sleeping but no one answers the door when I pour pour pour my feelings out on paper
This new version of me doesn't shop at first class vapor and doesn't draw pain from the smoke or the poke of the disdain that haunts me like a hurricane haunts a city full of big dreams and the lawns full of greens
Instead it's bliss

I'm living in a world where everything feels like your first kiss and it's magic and none of it is tragic and yet the words can't find their way to my tongue and it's like a towel has been wrung over my head because the water is drip drip dripping
onto the dead words I fill this note with while I try to find some confidence to cope with the idea that I was sad for so long I could've been a brand at Ikea

But now when I try to put the happy I feel into words it all sounds a bit too sappy and I just want to convey the happiness the way I used to betray my sadness
by spilling it's truths into my mouths standby poet chatter because I just want to write about the reality that matters
Sarah Kersey Oct 2016
It's like waking up one day and all your credit cards have somebody else's name on them
You knew it was happening gradually
It was like a slow landslide that you couldn't stop with your feeble hands or mediocre poetry
Letter by letter, day by day, you weren't you anymore
You wanted so desperately to remember your own name that you shouted the assignment into an empty mirror until it sounded like talking underwater
Unfortunately no matter how much you insist that the footprint on your birth certificate holds the same tsunami swirls as the ones attached to your ankles do now,
The alarm sounds one day and when you pick up the wallet that's on the ground next to you, the photo ID inside has a picture of somebody you used to know but no longer love in the spot where your eyes are supposed to be

I'm not feigning ignorance when I say I wasn't aware that I was losing myself
Somebody must have sent the memos to an email I forgot the password to
So when I woke up one day and opened up  my snapchat to put a stupid dog filter on, I wasn't entirely shocked when the camera didn't recognize a face
But my heart sunk like a titanic still full of passengers that didn't know they were drowning
I kept poking at my lifeless personality with a stick, too afraid to shake it in fear that pieces of me trapped inside would fall out and shatter
After a while I become suddenly aware that the shell of a person lying as roadkill in front of me was the person who appeared in the photo on my drivers license

It took days of placing dead flowers next to a dormant piece of who I used to be for me to see the word "disassociation" wrapping itself around the carcass's ankles
It took weeks of the sun's persistent questioning, burning through my shallow denial, for someone to look down at my fragile hands and find them a mess of fused bones instead of part of an intact limb
It took months for me to drag out the barely breathing heap of clothes - that contained who I used to be - out of my closet and in front of the window
It took months for me to open the windows and let the fresh air in
It took months for my skin to grow back over the parts of me that had been violated by someone else and incinerated by myself
It took months of gentle hugs and long naps for my body and my soul to recover the parts of me that used to be and connect them to the misshapen jigsaw puzzle that lies inside my chest

But everything is finite in this world, the good and the bad
One day I woke up and I dragged my beaten soul to the bank to register for new credit cards
And as I opened my wallet in fear that the progress I had made had been for nothing, the church choir took a dramatic pause
And finally sang the word hallelujah when I recognized myself again
Not the person I used to be
But the person I had become
Feb 2016 · 583
The Poem of Oxymorons.
Sarah Kersey Feb 2016
As much as I want to forget the days where the sun failed to shine and my fingertips fell off from the hypothermia (even though I was sitting on top of a heater), the memories stay stuck to my brain like a push pin that never found its way to a bulletin board
The thoughts of the nights that I have not shared where I drove without headlights on the streets with no street signs make me feel as if I am once again the dog who never made it to the pound with the misfired bullet slowing me down
I am not the same bike with no wheels or the tricycle who forgot the child like I was a year ago
The year without birthdays has put itself to rest next to the grave of lies I told everyone so they wouldn't worry about me
I have progressed and I want to be real
The chalkboard covered with eraser marks that hid all the confessions I wanted to spill to my mother - but never did - now lies in the dumpster with no trash
I am an open book with no pictures
Yet at the same time, I am the tweet with 141 characters saved in my drafts because I don't know how to tell the  people closest to me what it was like to be a calendar with no pages
How do you explain to someone with sprinklers that you struggled to survive through the drought thought to have no end?
They say that the struggles you endure make you wise, so then why do I feel like a melting acropolis full of all these stories I never wanted to have to tell?
Maybe it's the candle with no wick that is yearning to burn within me or maybe it's the upcoming March without the madness
But whatever it is,
I know I want to be real about the frames I hung with no pictures on the walls with no foundations
I am starting to feel as if I am regaining the feeling in my fingertips again
And I need you to be proud of me for that
Jan 2016 · 765
Ashes.
Sarah Kersey Jan 2016
As the fall changed its sweater into one fitting for winter, it got so cold in my head that I lost the will to coax the furnace into functioning
My worlds felt like overused metaphors and the feeling you get when you finish a book that wasn't supposed to end
I didn't realize I had used all my poetry as firewood until I didn't have any other sonnets left in my mouth

I wrote my first essay for my English class about the boy who played with fire in the middle of August
But by then it was October and I couldn't find the courage to talk about the burn marks on my back or the way I flinched when I saw lava lamps
So instead I talked about the way this boy juggled fire like it was a toy
The essay started strong but my words lost their grandeur
My head was getting so cold that when icicles started forming on the corners of the paper, he became ignorant and not the sadistic person that he was
I couldn't figure out how to characterize the villain in my three page essay because I couldn't see myself as the protagonist
I couldn't talk about how I watched my entire world burn and sat in stunned silence
I couldn't find a word strong enough to recreate the terror on paper
Instead I turned on the air conditioning and spoke of bravery
I neglected to mention that I didn't have any of it

I put on my best disguise and spilled out my greatest poetic lies but my teacher saw straight through it
So I was branded with a C and stamped with a "do not resuscitate" order on my forehead
They labeled me a lost cause and I didn't have enough poetry to throw to convince the morgue that I was still breathing
That my words still had relevance
Walt Whitman never told me that the written word only means something when it's true

By then it was too cold in my head to snow and I was trapped below all the words I failed to speak
I didn't know how to dig my way out from underneath the weight of every bad thing that had ever happened to me
Because I didn't feel like the hero or the protagonist
I felt like an arsonist who could not keep herself warm

And so here I am
Throwing myself into the fire full of every truth I never wanted to accept
Hoping to find my voice again lying beneath the ashes
Trying to find my voice again.
Jan 2016 · 535
Alternate Endings.
Sarah Kersey Jan 2016
I hope you get the chance
To hail that taxi cab
Filled with all your lost dreams
And I hope
That you miss it

Sometimes
We are not meant
To regain
The things we let go

Sometimes
It is better
To let them live out their lives
In alternate universes
Where the ground
Is up
And the sky
Is down
Where you
Love me
And I never
Loved you
Found an old piece of mine.
Dec 2015 · 1.3k
Water Softeners and a C-.
Sarah Kersey Dec 2015
When I was 10, we lived in a neighborhood that was always under construction
My parents installed an alarm just in case anything were to ever go awry
They set up the defenses that should have been indestructible
But there was this one day that I ended my walk from the bus stop to my place of safety by entering a house that didn’t sound an alarm to footsteps in the doorway
The batteries were just dead
Before I allowed myself to indulge in an hour of mind-rotting after school specials, I checked every room in the house for intruders
I have always been cautious like that
I told my parents the alarm batteries needed replacement but I never told them about how I checked the room we kept our water softener in to make sure there wasn’t anyone dwelling where they shouldn’t have been

I tried to write an essay one time comparing the ****** assault I endured last august to my house getting broken into
I talked about being brave in the aftermath of a tragedy
After pouring all my blood and half-assed tears into that paper, I received a C- and a try again
It didn’t connect, it didn’t make sense, and my metaphors were confusing
I think I tried too hard to make the trauma a metaphor instead of emphasizing the reality:
my own personal home that I had been inhabiting for seventeen years had genuinely been broken into
And the alarm didn’t sound
And that didn’t feel brave

I think all I did in that sham of an essay was convince my teacher I was a coward
I talked to her about it once
I think she may have suspected that my batteries were dead

Either they were dead the evening I endured my attack or I had just chosen to brush off the persistent ringing of panic that was sounding in the air because it sounded too much like my anxiety
I’d always pushed my gut feelings away so I could continue to live without fear of going outside
Some instincts you just had to choose to ignore
I chose to ignore the wrong one
I chalked up the burrowing feeling that had made its home in my stomach that night in the glow of that artificial light to simply being nervous
So I turned off the alarm and I let him kiss me

There’s two glaring repercussions that being sexually assaulted has produced
I can’t look at lava lamps
And I can’t end poems about you
Lava lamps remind me of your bedroom
I can’t end poems because that would mean that I have closure
That you’re gone
That the alarms are intact
But I still have a creeping suspicion that you could be hiding behind my water softener
I can't seem to get my thoughts in order anymore. I'm trying.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
When I was six I was riding my bike through my neighborhood with my dad following in pursuit behind me
He told me to be careful while taking the corner because the turn was sharper than the smooth curves I had been blessed with knowing
But I was six and I was invincible and then I was face down in the gravel with ****** knees and tears pouring out of my eyes like they were directly connected to the fountain of youth
Each and every time I got on a bike after that I had this phantom pain in my knees from the rocks that had made me vulnerable
I still don't go near bicycles because every time I do I find myself reaching for bandaids

I have never been good at being open
The act of spilling my soul onto pavement was an terrifying idea up until the age of sixteen when I thought the world was mine to take
I threw caution to the wind and pressed my knees to the ground for people who didn't care about me and justified it as love
I didn't think about the time when gravel met my blood and I covered up my scars with makeup remover
It only took me three months to realize that I was not taking, I was being taken from
I reached for bandaids but the box was empty
I looked back to realize my dad wasn't riding behind me anymore and I was alone
My knees were bruised blue, mixed with a milky foundation instead of the pure blood red

They say hydrogen peroxide is supposed to help clean out the wounds with minimal pain but I swear I screamed to high heavens when I touched the wound I received three months ago
The bruises from sixteen had faded and the blood from six had dried but they were still there
Brimming underneath the surface
Sigmund Freud once said that unexpressed emotions never die and I suppose he was right
Because when I dipped that cotton ball in the pain reliever and touched it to my battered knee I think every nerve in my body combusted
Everyone looked at me and asked why I was screaming and all I could manage to tell them was that it hurt
They looked at me with bewilderment and told me it was just a paper cut and it would evaporate soon
I didn't know how to explain to them that the phantom of what used to be felt less like a ghost and more like a skeleton coming back to life with a new layer of skin

My bike is collecting dust at a yard sale and the memories should be sold with it but instead they're living inside me
You can sell your material possessions but no matter how hard you try you can't give away your scars
All I can hope is that someone someday won't look at my knees like they're a train wreck but instead look me in the eyes like I'm a person worth patching up
Nov 2015 · 1.1k
The Holy Grail.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
you used the word
"****"
like you had seen
the heavens
but you looked
at my body
like it was
a chapel of ruins
Nov 2015 · 1.7k
Small Town Suffocation.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
We've grown up in a place where our dreams can't breathe
They're turning blue at the bottom of the pond because our parents told us we weren't allowed to dig up ugly things
Somehow the ideas of success and failure got blended together and it all started to look the same
We all became athletes and we all became students
We've strived for A's because of the expectation
We've failed to realize the toll aiming for perfection has taken on our souls
We can get a 97% on calculus tests in under forty five minutes and we can run for touchdowns like we're running for our lives but we can't remember what we wanted to be when we were four years old

Our math teachers told us to strive for mediocrity
We wouldn't stand out and we wouldn't fail but we would be there
Getting grades and satisfying our parents
Living in a way that isn't really living
Breathing in a way that feels like you're sitting cross legged with your dreams -  of being more than this town - crushed underneath your feet
So we tossed the idea of being a revolutionary into the pond and let the algae kiss it goodnight
And we went back to our textbooks and our football games like everything was okay
Even though our hope sunk like an anchor inside our chests
And our dreams stopped breathing
Nov 2015 · 463
Childhood.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
To the tree
That stood in my front yard
At the age of four
How did you stand
So tall and so proud
As you watched
Innocence rot?
Nov 2015 · 461
It Gets Bad in Winter.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
There's a ringing in my ears
and they say it's from a lack of noise but I say it's from an overflow
of things that don't matter
Nov 2015 · 656
Car Crashes.
Sarah Kersey Nov 2015
There's a road I take to get home from school each day that has obituaries on the side of the road
On the right shoulder, when the sun has gone into hiding and the headlights decorate the dark, you can see the glass shards twinkling amongst the asphalt
I don't remember how or when they got there
All I know is one morning the shoulder looked like a shoulder and the next it looked like a crime scene
I think of all the people whose blood could be found among those broken slivers and I often have to blink a couple times to reassure myself that I'm still driving
I am not roadkill
But I see that glass and I see all the death announcements for the past versions of myself that haven't made it to adulthood

I think of the me who loved baggy pajamas and early morning tea parties - but never with real tea
Tea was too bitter and tasted too much like age
I think of the me who filled sketchbooks with self portraits in a desperate attempt to shatter society's early idea of what I was supposed to be
It wasn't what I wanted
Not even then
I think of the me whose eyes lit up over leather bounded spines as I tucked them away in the corners of my room like ***** little secrets

I drink real tea now
It still tastes bitter
But my books stand tall and proud
As a barrier between me and the world
Keeping that small shard of childhood intact within these walls
I still miss that little girl who wore her pajamas too big and held ideas too small compared to the massive ones she would be forced to understand
But I hope she knows she finally cracked the magnifying glass society had on her
The evidence is laying on the right shoulder of the road, glittering within the pale glow of my headlights
Sep 2015 · 847
Blockages
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
You went to the doctor
twice a week
for a month
because you felt
like your throat
was on fire


You were convinced
it was your tonsils
but it turned out
to be a collection
of unspoken words
lodged in your windpipe
Sep 2015 · 1.6k
Burning Narcotics.
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
I think if you were cremated right here and now, your ashes would burst into flames
You are like wildfire
Unstoppable and hypnotic
My lungs pour out smoke as your eyes light up when the sun goes down
Your temper is like a flare gun against the red of the sky
Fading faster than I am
I make you sound like a crime scene
but you are so much more
You are interlaced fingers as the lights chase us out of town
When I look at you, I see the hue of police sirens
The burning fire of the strands that erupt out of your skull contrast with the pharmaceutical waves of your eyes
The essence of you narcotizes my system
A piece I wrote for a friend's video project that I'm actually quite fond of.
Sep 2015 · 1.1k
The Drop
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
I want to find a way to discuss the drop
But I can’t find the words

I want to talk about
how at high school football games
when I go out onto the field with my camera,
the lens is the only thing that feels real to me
Everyone is going wild
The boys of fall are running for their lives
but I just feel like I’m a ghost in this fragile town
I think that if I waltzed out
onto the turf and was tackled,
I wouldn’t even notice

I want to talk about
how sometimes when my birthday comes
I try to picture the next year of my life
and I can’t dream of it
Everything has become so unpredictable
that all these birthday wishes
feel like false hope and lost causes

I want to talk about
how sometimes
the sky becomes a certain color of blue,
and suddenly my vision sharpens
I can see the leaves on the trees
and the numerals on my speedometer again
I don’t know how to talk about the fact
that this only happens every couple days
at most
Clarity is a gift, it is not a constant

No matter how hard I try
I cannot manage to make these things
sound beautiful
simply because they are not
Not all things are meant to be beautiful
Sep 2015 · 6.0k
Social Media
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
We shorten our thoughts
so they can fit into our Twitter updates
Because everyone seems to lose interest
after 140 characters anyways
Half of you have already started skimming this
We close our eyes to tragedy
because seeing is believing
Because if we don’t see it,
then how can it be real?
You’d rather read a Facebook status
about the newest movie trailer
than even glimpse at the news story
about a school shooting that affected way more lives
than that movie ever will
We turn our shoulders away from sadness
and upturn our noses at those
who suffer from chronic waves of it
Because sadness is seen as contagious
and no one can bear to hear
more than 140 characters worth of it anyway
We run away
when the skeletons try to break out of our closets
Because we hold the past and the future
in two separate dimensions
and mixing them would be taboo
And it’s all fine if it’s a Throwback-Thursday
because we only like to remind people
of the faint and distant memories we liked
instead of the ones that keep us awake at night
And we sit here
and we dare to wonder
why people can’t be real with each other
Sep 2015 · 532
Wet Hands
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
Staring at all the memories laced into the cork boards
that lined my walls had begun to make me sick.
The bile that crept up into my throat
whenever I viewed all the lies through the looking glass
was tasting too much like longing
I had to take apart the town I grew up in
before I could go on living

I did it without a tear in my eye

I’ve grown so detached to all these homes who kicked me out
into the cold and rainy streets to live on my own
The indifference I held in my palms was achingly dry

The places and the people you love
are supposed to smell like rain and feel like sunlight
All the reflections that I held in my hands
were chalky and smelled like smoke

I threw it all in a box and left my hands empty
It is better to have desperately desolate hands
than to have a crowded heart of people
who will only use scissors to mark their territory on your body
Some people only want to be in your life so they can take a match to your heart
You can never let them
They do not smell like rain and they do not feel like sunlight
All they will leave behind is their smoke and ashes
Sep 2015 · 576
Sea of Stars
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
I marvel sometimes
At how wide our existence is
How very miniscule we are
Compared to the rest of the specs
We call our peers.

How,
Could I ever be significant?

I am
Just a fleck of light
Amongst an entire sea of stars.

But then I see beings
Who glow
So luminous
Among thousands,
Never once
Dimming
To attempt to fade into
Oneself.

I cannot fathom
Their undying lust
For their own aura.

I can only purely stand in awe
Watching as their soul
Pours out ice blue
So harshly opposite
Of the pale yellow flicker
We all pretend to be
Sep 2015 · 1.4k
Nostalgia
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
To the photographs

That hang on my wall

I am so

So sorry

For puncturing

Your throat

With pushpins
I need

A reminder

That I am real

That what happened

Was real
Hurting you

Is the only way

I know how

To do that
Sep 2015 · 588
September
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
I can hear the school bells
Ringing in the distance
The ache in my chest pushes
Beats consistently
My ankles snap louder
Than any tree branch
I ever stepped on
My shoes are worn through
The soles
Look a lot like their partner
Inside my chest

I do not know
How to prepare
For the endless taps
Of fresh pencils
Against the broken dreams
Of the youth
Sep 2015 · 648
Wildfires
Sarah Kersey Sep 2015
The summer that a boy took scissors to my clothes was the same summer that the whole state erupted into flames

I watched my hometown burn the same night some stupid teenager decided he could drown out my voice with the sound of his desire

I watched a person from my past become a ghost as the events that had chased me through nightmares became reality again

With a brand new skeleton 

I watched this past haunting become a part of a pattern as the boy with the safety scissors replaced him as the latest incident

Everyone walked outside to inhale the fumes while I sat inside on a brown leather couch with someone attempting to rip his way into my soul
All he got was tattered strings of a girl who had already broke the same way a year and six months ago

I wish I would’ve been able to say no loud enough for him to hear
Aug 2015 · 1.3k
Twisted Lullabies
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I sang no into your ears repeatedly
Like a twisted lullaby
And you turned that psychedelic song
Into one full of blue despair
Drowning out my voice
As the sounds of the fireworks
Cut through the air
You told me
That was the spark between us

You forgot it was New Years Eve
There was nothing between us
Except your insistence
And my refusal
In that moment
You seemed to have also forgotten
What no meant

There was fire in your eyes
There was fire in your name
There was fire in the sky
There was fire in my brain
Aug 2015 · 3.1k
Webs
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I used to feel like
there were spiders
crawling
all over
the places
you touched me

Now
It just feels like
cobwebs
Aug 2015 · 930
Prozac
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I took your words like antidepressants
I thought that I could find happiness in your words,
Your synthetic,
ugly words
Instead I began choking on your capsuled lies
when they started tasting like hate and rocks
in my throat
I shoved my own fist down my esophagus
in an attempt to grab back all the words
I wish I never said

I didn’t get my words back
but I did lay in bed for three days straight
while occasionally vomiting up your lies

I switched to Prozac after that.
Aug 2015 · 1.5k
Bullet Wounds
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
As humans we seem to develop this idea
that our hearts are this indestructible piece of us
And yet each time our heart gets cracked
we act as if a band aid
will do the bullet wound justice

There’s a silver paperclip
trying to hold two ripped edges
of my heart in place
where the phrase
“you’re the worst person I’ve ever met”
cracked me open with a clean break
Even though you shot those words at my kneecap,
it took fifty six stitches
to fix the minor damage done to my heart
My brain still hasn’t recovered

There’s a ***** band aid
taped over the confession
“I couldn’t take that away from you”
that’s peeling off
like it’s been run underwater
I didn’t have the heart to tell you
that the sunflowers
you were so infatuated with
were simply holograms
I could tell you I tried CPR
and every revival technique in the book
on those flowers
but those dead ******* petals
are still rotting inside my chest

There’s a patch of Elmer’s glue
desperately trying to mask the fact
that you spit the words
“why can’t you just be happy”
at me like they were poison
Sometimes when the clock ticks
into ungodly hours
I feel the glue start to decay
like my happiness has been for years
Despite all the colored paint
My brain remains blue and your words remain toxic


Even after all these heartbreaks
I still feel my heart persistently beating inside my chest
Hoping for more that is out there
Aug 2015 · 18.9k
Youth
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
Over the course of my unavoidably finite life I have always looked for the best in people
I believe that every human being has a soul
I believe that deep down within all of us
Beneath our silver hearts and our metal lungs lie good intentions
We stray from these as time passes
Time, an irrelevant concept at the most
Has made us all fools
We agonize over the number of minutes we are wasting as our lives drag on
Throwing away seconds like used tissues
Throwing away people like used tissues
Throwing away our lives like used tissues

We wreck everything around us
Concern is a forgotten custom
We would do anything to forget
We are all very quick to judge

We treat everything as disposable and recklessly dive into the unknown for the chance of excitement
But as an unavoidable result,
We wreck everything around us
There are men walking the streets with shoes tied to their backs whistling a tune about a man ******* ******* and getting money
This man doesn’t have a dime to his name and the last time he made love to a woman she screamed in disgust when she saw the disease he picked up from another man when he was 17 and ******
There are women waiting in the shadows of the alleys, waiting for their prey to come along and take them for a spin just for a Benjamin Franklin or two
This woman was taught that *** was a way to survive and that Benjamin Franklin could save anything, since that was all her dad sent her in the mail, as if that was an okay way to make up for leaving
There are teenage boys staring down at green leaves crumbled into nothing and white candied sugar that doesn’t taste so sweet
This Harvard bound boy just threw it all away because the pressure became just a bit too much and the only escape that was left was in the form of artificial highs that will destroy his brain until he’s as useless as a used tissue
There are teenage girls who are downing a bottle of coconut *** and getting on the road to go home so they can take their AP exam the following morning
This broken hearted girl who was just trying to forget her ex by swallowing the taste of Hawaii just killed another man in a head on collision
We wreck our lives for the pure possibility of enjoyment
We are all just looking for ways to forget and make up for all these lost moments that don’t even exist
A moment is never truly lost because it ceases to exists
Yet we forget this all in the thrill of it

Time is just a sugar coated limit on our lives that we fret over in order to worry about something
But maybe what we should be worrying about is the boy snorting coke in the bathroom
Not only should we be worried about his inhalation of the fast white lady,
But we should also be concerned over the circumstances surrounding him
He’s got scars on his wrists that he’s gained from war
Not Vietnam or Iraq but the war in his mind
But maybe we should be worrying about the girl selling herself on the street
She’s got eyes like fire but there’s burn marks slashed across her back from her “mother” shoving her onto the hot burning stove when her daddy left as a way to get out her anger
But maybe we should be worrying about the man with the shoes on his back
The disease that girl avoided will **** him in a matter of months and he hasn’t spoken to his mother in 10 years
She’s about to lose her only son to the ground because of some stupid party and some washed up drunk boy just looking for a good time without any concerns or protection
Or maybe we should worry about the teenage girl whose sitting in the jail cell drunk off her *** and being charged with vehicle manslaughter
Her ex is now lying under a white sheet, dead as can be, all because she was stupid enough to try to get amnesia from a bottle of forbidden poison

We would do anything to forget
We **** up our lives for the pure chance of amnesia
We all just want our innocence back
That teenage girl would love to forget how she lost her virginity to a boy who didn’t love her
But now she’s wearing black at a funeral staring at the face of a man she truly did love with her hands trapped in handcuffs behind her back
The man with the shoes would love to forget how he was once a straight-A student destined to be the next Steve Jobs
But all because of some frivolous party and the sleeping he did in his health class freshman year, he’s given up on the possibility of love and companionship and he’ll be rotting in the ground next to his father by the age of 34
The teenage boy would love to forget what it’s like to live with a beast in your mind with a red name tag stamped with the title ‘depression’
But instead he’s slashing his wrists in the bathroom as his blood splatters across the remaining ******* that lines the basin of the sink
The woman would love to forget the story of her accidental conception
But instead she hides in the alleys looking like a replica of her dad and just a little too much like the woman at the post office he got a bit too friendly with
We drown ourselves in the possibilities of falling into this idealistic dream world laced with melatonin and codeine as our brain collapses in on itself and our memories float away
This is the dream
Yet we cannot grasp it

We are all very quick to judge
We are all self-absorbed beings who form opinions on these four humans who are built of the same skin and bones as us
Yet we don’t take a second to look just a little bit deeper
The woman you considered a ******* whose been abused and beaten by a mother that’s not even her own?
She has a college degree and won three spelling bees when she was 12 years old
She can spell the word promiscuous faster than you can breathe out
She’s got flower crowns wilting in her closet that contain rotting lilies from her wedding bouquet
Her husband left her just like her dad did
The teenage boy, who you considered an emo, suicidal, washed up ******* addict?
He volunteers at the hospital and tries to help other kids suffering from the same disease that plagues his mind, even though he can’t help himself
He listens to only country music and sometimes when he picks his sister up from ballet recitals, they sing it together, extra loud with all the windows down
The man you judged as a homeless, lonely, STD-ridden loser?
He’s got thousands and thousands of dollars he pays to a nurse each week to take care of the mother he hasn’t spoken to in 10 years
He grew up on nothing, with only shoes on his back, and made himself into something
He made himself into a millionaire over a silly idea that resembled Facebook
And now he’s resorted back to his childhood ways in order to keep a woman healthy that kicked him out of the house when she found out he was bisexual
The girl who you considered some ******, blonde, drunk idiot who just killed her ex by pure accident?
She’s a natural brunette and she only dyed her hair because her ex told her it would make her pretty
Her self-esteem is so low it lies in the core of the earth, burning in hell, where she believes she’s going to end up because she lost her virginity before marriage
She’s got a purity ring resting in the threads of her carpet and a ****** wrapper in the trash laced with regret
She fell in love with somebody who treated her like she thought of herself, and she let him take the only part of her she had pride in because she believed he loved her

But now the woman with the flower crowns hiding in the alley has become a victim of **** because of some ******* who wasn’t carrying a Benjamin Franklin or a ******
But now the boy with a love for Luke Bryan is lying on the bathroom floor of some high school party in a pool of his own blood, slipping into oblivion
But now the man supporting his mother is in the hospital because of a disease in his genitals
But now the teenage girl is in prison for life

These are all just stories of imaginary people
Yet it all feels deathly real
Take us back to our youth
Take us to a land of the forgotten
Aug 2015 · 859
Newspaper Clippings.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
He held the newspaper above his head like it would somehow protect the water from cracking his scalp open

The words fell off the pages and soaked into the bald surface of his head

3 killed and 12 injured in a car collision on I-90 drips past his forehead and made a home in his old and gray eyebrows where things went to slowly rot


The advice columns made a home in his eyes because he could see the point, but he couldn’t process it in his mind

The obituaries come to life in his ears like all the words these skeletons once heard but are now lying with the red roses settled upon the graves

The words and rain continued to pour until his tears became ink and each drop was a letter of the article he always wanted to write but never got the chance to
Aug 2015 · 1.1k
Wearing my Diseases.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I wore my anxiety
like a sweater
My depression
like a mask

My skin was covered
by the illnesses
that plague
my fragile soul

They had the
audacity
to tell me
it was all
in my head.
Aug 2015 · 2.5k
Cotton Mouth.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I waited and waited
for rain to soak this drought
inside my chest

But all I got
was a dry mouth
that felt like
someone was trying
to force
cotton
down my throat

It was just
your tongue.
Aug 2015 · 424
Six of Hearts.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I used to hold the magic
Of a single deck of cards
I used to be complete
A full deck of 52
But now I'm down to 39
And all my hearts are missing
Aug 2015 · 681
Ignorance is Bliss.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
You can say it's all lessons
That every awful thing that happens to us is just "life experience" and that its all some beautiful opera in the end
That it all somehow makes sense
You excuse away terrible circumstances as "experience to be learned from" as if that somehow justifies the unfairness of it all

I've learned lessons I've never wanted to learn
From day one of preschool they've stuck a label on my forehead with the word intelligent that I wear like a brand
It's something to be proud of and its something to despise
They call me "wise beyond my years" but I'd do anything to unlearn some of these lessons
Experience makes you wise but bad experience makes you cynical

I could've gone my whole life not knowing what it feels like to have a boy take scissors to the fabric across my torso in a desperate attempt to go on a field trip with no permission slip
I listen to girls cry into the phone through the crackling static about becoming a statistic and I wish I could take that lesson away from them
You brand me as smart but I watch myself almost become a number in the percentile every night I walk to my car after work with my pepper spray in my back pocket
And now I have a shirt to match my ripped jeans and I have a friend calling me in the dark as she stumbles towards safety, begging me to take her away from these messes we've both found ourselves in

I could've lived eternities filled with yellow filtered happiness and I would've been perfectly okay not knowing about blue illnesses that **** up serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine like a vacuum
Ignorance could coat my mind with a sparkling pink sugar if it meant I wouldn't have to feel this alone all the time
I would give my left leg in exchange for being able to cluelessly search up the symptoms of depression on the Internet and I would give my right leg to be unable to relate to any of the points made on that bulleted list
But instead I write sad poems and I allow my brain to be dissected like that frog in eighth grade as you all try to figure out why I'm so down
If you haven't figured it out by now then here I am, in all my supposed worldly intelligence, handing you information about how my mind doesn't work right

I could've spent ages loving and respecting myself without self hatred clouding my vision
Even when I wear my glasses and it's all 20/20, you tell me I look like an old soul but all I see when I look in the mirror is a jean size I don't want to be and a face I sometimes don't recognize
I taught myself how to hate what the mirror gave back to me after learning what is and what isn't enough
I've spent all summer trying to pour confidence into my mouth like cough medicine, trying to unlearn the hate
Aug 2015 · 1.6k
Birthday Parties.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I attend funerals
for my self-confidence
like I attend birthday parties

There are banners
taped to the wall
composed of the texts
I never found the courage to send
Screenshots of unseen
“I’m so sad right now”
“I need you"s
They light up the room
like a celebration
of all my unsaid words

The candles on the birthday cake
are melting wax
that looks a lot like the tears I cried
when I was so scared
I was destroying everyone around me
that I made myself hitchhike
to the nearest abandoned lot
where I live now

If I could make a wish
on those melted candles
I’d wish to feel like myself again
But I know that every 11 11 wish
and every thought etched into my mind
as the fire from the candles go out
is lost just like the smoke in the air

There’s a birthday gift
wrapped in lush crystal blue wrapping paper
made of all the lies
everyone ever threw at me
and every one of them I believed
I unwrap the gift to find a single mirror
And that’s when the funeral commences
Aug 2015 · 1.2k
Punching Bag.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
I thought that if I was your punching bag
then you’d have a reason to keep me around
So I didn’t bat an eyelash
when your monstrous hands
locked around my throat
You whispered words like “beautiful”
and contradicted them with words like “worthless”
Because even though
I couldn’t breathe
at least you found me desirable

You find me repulsive now
So I didn’t flinch
when you kicked me in the shins
with the force
of a wrecking ball
because you told me
that you were fascinated
by my skin when it bruised
Because even though
I couldn’t walk
at least you found me
something worth looking at

You don’t look me in the eye anymore
Eventually your punching bag here
took one too many hits
and started to look a little too broken
for your taste
Now this broken *******
lies in a dusty corner of your mind,
another addition to the collection of items
you could no longer find a way to love
after they broke
Aug 2015 · 625
Golden.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
You are not ruined,
you are just beginning
No matter how many homes
you coat in gasoline
and watch ignite
You will never be the ashes of your failures
The smoke may taint your clothes
and wrap itself in your hair
But it’ll never taint your heart
That will always remain golden
Aug 2015 · 854
Depression.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
Blue

When you’re blue in the brain as each hour ticks by,
you start to see a multitude of temporary people in your life
You get used to people coming and going
but they never seem to stay
They all just want to fix you
They pour their
“I’m here for you"s
and "it’s going to be okay"s
into your mouth like NyQuil
The words lull you into a sleep
full of hopes and dreams
of becoming someone real
You talk in your sleep
and release all the bad thoughts into the night sky
where you believe they can fly among the constellations
But then you wake up to the harsh frost on the windows
and the crushed nebulas in your hands
and the "I’m here for you”
turns into “I just can’t do this anymore, you’re dragging me down”

I should know better by now
not to form attachments
but the crystal in my head is constantly searching
for something to cling to

Sometimes people are drawn to the tortured poet
that howls to the moon like her soul is burning
But whenever they are,
it is always temporary
Sadness is seen as contagious
and it scares people to see that it’s real
They don’t want to be infected
They attempt to kiss your pain away
and they dress you all in yellow
in order to try to make you happy
But soon enough
you’ll grab that black shirt that smells like home out of your closet
and suddenly those so infatuated with you
now just look at you with dead eyes
And before you know it
you’re driving away from the parking lot
or hanging up the phone
and you’ve got nothing left in you
but the flecks of yellow paint on your hands
that looks a little too much
like those dandelions you ripped out of the ground earlier

I’ve done my best to push yellow and orange into my brain
but all that I get is a darker blue

Sometimes I paint my face purple
and I become the violet face of the broken down house
with an unapproachable mystery lurking within
Some approach
but most stay away
Those who come near are inevitably disappointed
when the hurricane hits and the paint starts to decay,
leaving only blue walls in its former magenta glory
They expect to find explanations for its tint
but all they find is more blue

So maybe that’s why all the “I can’t do this”
and all the “you’re so **** sad all the time”
and all the “I can’t wait around for you to get better” phrases
hit me like loads of concrete
I find attachments
and I pour my hope into them,
thinking maybe what they say will ring true this time
and that they’ll be able to fix me
Aug 2015 · 2.3k
Red Balloons.
Sarah Kersey Aug 2015
There once was a girl who always wore her hair in two braids
She always wore two ribbons
And she always wore two bows
Her mother forced her into pretty red dresses
Even when the girl said no

The girl didn’t like bows or dresses
And she hated the color red
She didn’t like the hue of roses
Because roses only bled

So the girl played in the dirt
(Which deeply upset her mother)
She felt like a grass stain on her own life
(Nothing but a bother)

She only wanted to please her mother
But she just couldn’t get by
So when the grass stained her life
She decided to take to the sky

She only wanted to make her mother proud
So she chose the color red
She ignored her mother’s frantic calls
And stared down at the riverbed

She looked down and saw grass stains
She looked up and saw balloons
She looked down at the rocks
And the way the water turned blue

So the girl took the leap
In the early morning light
Thinking if she jumped
Maybe she would take flight

It broke everyone’s heart
To heart the mother cry for days
While staring at the popped red balloon
Lying in the bay

— The End —