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Alexander Low Feb 12
Grab your supplies,
two needles, six alcohol pads and
the Wonder Woman bandaids you bought
to feel brave.
Remind yourself to buy a box for mom
next time you supermarket shop.

Curse under your breath,
its left thigh week and
you know the left thigh really hates T
Message your group chat,
Ask them to pump you up
so you can ignore needle induced palpitations—
are my ribs caging my heart or protecting it?
Refocus yourself; now is not the time
for existential thoughts

Fill the syringe with the eighteen gauge,
and then drop that sucker into
the ancient bottle of vanilla coke
filled with used needles.
Change to the twenty-five gauge,
refresh your music page.
Is it a Queen or All Time Low shot day?

Wipe your leg down,
not once, not thrice,
but five times—
As you stare between the needle,
your thigh, your needle, and again
the thigh.
Count to three,
and in it goes,
not so bad—it never is.

Repeat every Sunday.
A piece from my creative writing class
Bryce Jun 2018
In the fragments of my dream-state, I saw a past I didn't wish to uncover.

My old home-street.
It was the summer of a childhood memory, and the air was temperate-- like lukewarm water, suspended and perfect, almost vacuous-- without breeze or gust, as if strung up in some test-tube of a world.

The suburban houses lined the path, it felt the dawning age of autumn-- that though the trees were green, I could feel them ready to release themselves. to fall and die-- but not yet.

In the front lawns of these houses, exotic vehicles-- Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis-- an Italian road show strange and deeply uncouth.

With bright fantastic colors of cherry red and enamel white and neon green and twilight blue and midday yellow and magenta-- they portrayed as monuments, movable statues, and like a hometown get-together the families of the houses stood next to them, proud...waiting. For something.

I walked past, the spectral calls of my childhood friends and neighbors following and whispering inaudibly behind me-- a muffled shadow of voice that I yearned to understand, but could not. They laughed and spoke of illusory things, and within their voices dictated golden, pleasant memory, and a creeping sense of melancholy.

I could see my house at the end of the street. As we walked, it was as if a million summers came and went-- fathers pruned their oak trees, waxed their automobiles, pantomimed cooking and eating and drinking and mirth-- while the sunless sky glowed soft and infantile, a cloudless blanket.

Deep in my consciousness, I felt dread to return home. There was something off-- and as the dream world strips you of your familiarity, of your defenses and rationale, the raw beating flesh of fear spasms.

We reached the house, the procession of childhood friends all but dissipated. The old oak tree in the front lawn had been removed, the soft scent of lavender replaced with the vibrant colors of red rose and lanky yellow tulips that stood in piqued attention, long leaves of perfect green-- a new garden for a new soul.

An unfamiliar girl/woman-- perhaps the new owner of my lost home-- opened the garage, guided me inside.

Inside there was a McClaren, grey and yellow and unbelievably beautiful-- but dark and covered in dust. The garage was always dusty. How interesting that she would leave her prize hidden from the festivities...

She opened the door, in I walked.

In dreams often what we understand of geography and place shifts radically-- so that we may encounter a more unfamiliar world, to recognize it as distinct from waking memory. Perhaps so that we do not get lost-- to give us a way out, a logical incongruity to feed ourselves-- to convince ourselves that this world is imaginary, that it is irrational and inexplicable.

Yet when I entered my home, it was as if I had never left. The television cabinet, the floral couches, the wrought-iron fence through the kitchen door-- all of a sudden I was home again. For all the times I wondered, imagined the new family that took my childhood home--it was okay. It was safe. it was respected.

In the living room, the new family was unpacking posters. Old cartoons and comic characters next to the Christmas fireplace. Upstairs I heard muffled conversation-- bouncing off the vaulted front atrium to my ears, they were in the rumpus room-- the room I had so often called my own-- where I lost myself in books and games and puzzles and dreams. I wanted desperately to see it, yet I felt a slight unease-- I did not wish to push further than I would be let.

The woman guided me to the family room table, where we would so often have our family dinners-- and I would hide myself underneath the legs of unknown relatives, playing with the dog or tracing my finger along the exposed, unfinished wood of the underbelly-- and these memories flooded my dream-- a daydream within a dream-- calling with it a deluge of melancholic nostalgia-- a sort of hypnogogic recollection.

I could feel the stinging ache of these memories. I could hear myself weeping against the chair leg, looking out the french doors into the garden full of roses and grass and lilies and tulips-- familiar yet alien, alive and dead, lost and found. The ache was painful, yet when I suddenly awoke I found myself overcome with a sort of exhausted pleasure-- the kind of feeling one gets after crying for a long time, crying into the end of one's breath-- at the end of a long period of pain, or a resolutive tantrum.
I'm still thinking about this dream, and the one of the night before. Long has it been since I have had such vivid hallucinations, as with indiscriminate drink and smoke managed to mostly eliminate them from my life. It is both disturbing and satisfying to see them once again-- to perhaps withdraw meaning from them once more.
Martin Narrod Oct 2016
I greet another, she can't greet me. Alone in the world I'll be. To California I've followed me there, every girl I've met shows despair.

I enter the forest, I follow a friend. But when she sees me she's silent and still.

I chase my shadow, I follow the sun. But it's dark and I'm alone again soon. Here is the question, it isn't asked but is seen. Will I always feel for much more than the human beings.

Ravens suggestions and snow covered pines, for her I'd rearrange time. I have never forgotten our words, we'll keep the promise even though it's absurd. Children gut themselves with the knife, and bleed publicly but their mothers know why. We shallow our breaths, we hold our heads down, and beat our fists on our chests. Through tomorrow we'll lay in our empty beds. Until the poison softens our heads.

She never gave me an apology. I just sit alone drinking bottom-shelf wine. I take down the down with the drugs and go down and warm myself with some morphine and smoke till I'm gone. Drop the fire on my pants, set fires to the floors, until she'll take me to the bed that once was just ours.
Grey Feb 2016
You offered me your body,
I offered in return:

A tuna fish sandwich,
A nice piece of carnelian,
Maybe a book or two about odd things
like death by electrocution or Leonardo da Vinci
or the history of the upright bass,
Endless records,
Enough jazz to paint the world blue,
My mouth forming the shapes of notes,
A breath from my own lungs,
The scarf which was lovingly knit for me
by my one remaining friend,
Lipstick, bright red and smooth,
Feathers from a hawk that I found by the road,
Dried pink roses from a corsage,
Two baby teeth in a container that once held film,
Hair shorn with a dull kitchen knife,
A collar of cracked burgundy leather,
Sachets smelling faintly of lavender,
A mirror which was cracked on my thirteenth birthday,
One lace glove.

Why did you leave?
Abigail Stone Sep 2015
1: "She won't touch your stuff because she doesn't want to do anything." Including but not limited to getting out of bed, meeting your friends, talking to you, watching a movie, or hanging out with you. All she'll want to do is lay in bed, staring at the ceiling the entire time because she's too tired to do anything.
     #2: "She'll probably forget you borrowed money from her." And she'll forget your birthday, your anniversary, her birthday, and whether or not she had even eaten at all that week.
     #3: "She's a cheap date." More than likely, it's because she doesn't want to be there, she just wants to lay in her bed until she dissolves away into nothingness, until everyone who knew her just forgets about her. Because the minute that she climbs out of bed, her insecurities are buzzing in her ears and clawing at her throat, making her feel like she's drowning in her own lack of self-worth.
     #4: "She probably doesn't want to meet your family." Because she's terrified that they're going to judge her, that she won't be good enough for them. Because she knows that once she leaves the safety of her room, that she has just been served on a silver platter, a target painted on her back in bright, neon colors; once she leaves her room, it's okay for everyone to judge her, for them to say terrible things about her, for them to use her like one uses a ******.
     #5: "She will probably get drunk and you can have *** with her." She'll get drunk easily, because of all of the meds she's on, and then you can have *** with her and it's okay, right? Because she's drunk and she can't say no, because she's not thinking straight, because she's drowned her sorrows in alcohol and that's what she gets for being sad, right? Because she is nothing more than an easy ****; that's all she is and all she'll ever be, right?
     #6: "You can get free drugs!" She'll realize that she's missing some of her anti-depressants, that some of her painkillers are gone, and that you're the only one who would have taken them, but she won't get angry. After all, she's just being selfish to think that she's struggling and needs them. After all, who needs anti-depressants when she has you?
     #7: "She has poor memory and a short attention span." Because the minute that she focuses on something, that gives it the opportunity to hurt her. Because the minute that she remembers one thing, all of the bad memories come flooding back. She'll just plod along through life, wondering whether it's Monday or Friday, if she has school today or has to go to work, if she has even eaten a single bite of food that day.
     #8: "She won't talk that much." Instead, she'll sit there and listen to you talk, and she'll find a way to turn your words against her. She'll find a way to twist your words into a criticism about her, about how she's not good enough, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. She'll just keep on listening until the words that you never meant to be referred to her infect her insides with their ugliness, staining her skin red with her own blood and her cheeks with her own tears.
     #9: "She'll pamper you because she's sensitive." She'll give you everything you ever wanted because she never had someone do that for her. She'll buy you that new game you were wanting as an apology; every time you receive a gift, there's an apology hidden inside of it that you made her too scared to talk about! "Here's that new Xbox game you wanted": I'm sorry I'm hurting; "Here's tickets to that basketball game you talked about": I'm sorry that I'm not good enough; "Here's a new watch": I'm sorry that you have to sit here and watch me die!
     #10: "It'll make you look better." Because she's just a charity case, a way for someone to look better; she's just like a case of make-up or cologne. You put her on and you immediately look better. You'll drag her around on your arm like a bag; she'll just make you look perfect, won't she? It'll be so easy.
     Until you have to start hiding the steak knives in your house and hide all of the meds, keeping them locked up as you lay in bed wondering if she can manage to drown herself with the water in the sink, worrying that you might wake up and find her dead body laying on the ground.
     Until you start having to be careful what you say, because every negative word you say becomes another slit on her wrist. Until you start to have to take away every sharp object, every rope, every sheet, every cushion, because who knows what she could do with those? Who knows what kind of harm she could inflict on herself with that?
     You can romanticize the pain that she lives through every day, pretend that she's just being a whiny little girl and that it can't really hurt that bad. You can sit there and watch as the tiny grains of sand in the hourglass inside of her broken heart dwindle down to zero, leaving her an empty husk. You can sit there and watch, and say it was supposed to be easy, but you can't ever say that you were a hero.
     This is what depression really is, and you ******* signed up for it.
So got some naughty words in this, but hey! It was just what came out when I started writing, so . . .

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

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