Rolland and I
were walking
down the passageway
after biology.

Other kids were ahead
from our class
we were on our way
to Maths.

Other kids
were passing
going the other way.

Sheila was
one of them
she glanced at me
and stopped.

I stopped too.

You go on
I said to Rolland
he looked at her
then me
and walked on
shaking his head.

Wasn't sure
if would see you
she said.

Where you going?
I said.

Domestic science
she said.

Other kids
from her class
had walked on.

We stood looking
at each other.

I felt
my heart pounding
I drew her to me
and we moved
into the doorway
of the caretaker's room
it was closed.

We were holding
each other.

She leaned in
and kissed me
on the lips.

I could smell
a weak perfume.

I sensed her body
against mine
she felt
soft and lumpy.

Footsteps
in the passage
and we parted
and moved out
into passageway.

A prefect
was walking along
why aren't you
two in class?
he said.

We were looking
for something
I said.

Well get off
and no lingering.

We nodded
and parted
and went our own way.

I watched her go
her swaying
body moving.

I sensed
an inner firey glow.

A BOY AND GIRL AT SCHOOL 1962

I sit next
to my sister
on the coach
to school.

She is talking
to her friends nearby.

I look out
the window.

The radio is on
playing pop music.

There is talk
around me
like a babble
of sounds.

Fields and trees
and hedgerows
pass by
cottages
and country lanes.

I wonder if
John is looking
over at me?
he was when I
first looked over
after getting
on the coach
and he smiled
and I smiled.

But I don't know
whether
to look again.

If he is looking
and I blush
and my sister sees him
she'll joke about me
blushing to her friends.

The sky is dull
it looks like rain.

I hope it doesn't
I want to see John
on the field if I can.

Shall I look over?
I want to
but what if he is?
I try not to blush
but can't help it.

The bus stops
to let other
school kids on
they clamber aboard
like pirates
onto our ship.

They sit
more talk
laughter
from the back.

I wish
I wasn't so shy.

I look over
John's looking at me
and smiles
I smile.

I feel myself blush
and look away
and stare
at the sky.

A GIRL AND THE BOY ON THE SCHOOL COACH 1962
Dakota 1d

i’ve heard people explain
if weed and cigarettes are smelled
it’s coming from me, a perfume
i only have to light.
they’re used to my repetitive nature,
my decaying body stuffed inside
a six year old leather jacket.
it's a running gag that I
destroy myself on an
hourly basis. it's funny that I
spent most of high school
clawing at my wrists to get
the fatal flaws out.
I put myself on display
and then get uncomfortable when
I'm asked for a blow by blow
of my most recent suicidal episode.
the gashes on my arms seem to be
an invitation for people to ask me
personal questions whose answers
are only given as whispers under the blanket of night.
i am open and yet how closed am i,
the wanting to be heard conflicting
with wanting to create an air of mystery.
so when you smell smoke just know
i am around, i am waiting
for my name to slip out
when friends bring up
“crazy exes.”

We were lining up
for school dinner.

Fay was in
front of me.

Can you go
to the cinema
on Saturday morning?
I said.

Don't know
have to see what
Daddy says
she said
he doesn't like me
going to the cinema
he says it is sinful
stuff shown.

I frowned
and looked at her.

It's only films
I said
kid’s stuff.

I’ll ask him
she said.

After we got
out dinners
we sat
at the same table.

What is sinful
about going
to the pictures?
I asked.

Daddy says
that sometimes
the films show
a wrong side of life
and is against
our Catholic faith.

I go nearly
every week
twice some Saturdays
if my old man
takes me
I said.

Doesn't your father worry
about it being sinful?
she said.

Don't think he does
I said
least he's not said
anything about sin
only who is in it
and if it's any good
I said.

We ate our dinner
I looked
at her blue eyes
and blonde hair
drawn into a ponytail.

Ask him
if you can
I said
it is only
films for kids.

I will
she said.

But I felt
she was reluctant
and would probably wait
until her old man
was away on one
of his religious retreats
or off away on business.  

After dinner
we went into
the playground
she to play skip rope
with other girls
and I with Denis
to play cards.

Denis lost
and I had most
of his cards
which made him moody
but all is fair
in cards and war.

He walked off
and swore.

KIDS IN LONDON IN 1959

I used to want to be the last one to leave parties.

Watch the flames get extinguished
The bottles picked up
And the brake-lights of departing friends pierce the night
Knowing that I didn't miss out on any fun.

Now I am the last one to leave for college
And I wish it weren't so
Because I get the cursed privilege of
Watching every single one of my best friends go.


I used to hate leaving parties early
People still arriving, snacks to be eaten, and the night still young
Disappointed that everyone would keep partying after I left
The towel of fun still sopping wet and not yet wrung.

As the absolute last one to leave for the Fall Quarter
It's absolute fucking torture.
I wish I could depart early, leave this party of a town
Say painful goodbyes until December, and slip away without a sound.

I don't want our flames to be extinguished.
I don't want you guys to be picked up and whisked away.
Bright brake-lights parking at the airport
I just wish I didn't have to stay.

I'm here until the end of the summer, my friends,
and deep into the Fall
But I'm lucky to have spent the most time
With everyone out of you all.

I know we'll stay in touch.
Snaps of our apartment, and DMs about college life
It's the face-to-face contact, the summer hangs, I'll miss for now
But we'll be writing each other, surely


But for once


I want to leave the party early.

It's all getting so real. They're leaving. I'm leaving. Months after them. Good luck my friends, I'll see you in December. <3

When I was
seven years old
I crept down our stairs
in the dark
it was just about midnight
on Christmas Eve
and I
wanted to catch Santa Claus
as he put presents
under our tree

When I was
fifteen years old
I laid on his bed
in the dark
it was in the evening
during the summer
and I
nervously waited for him
to shove his penis
inside of me

I hid
near the fireplace
anxiously awaiting an arrival
hands clenched into tight fists
giddy with anticipation
waiting in the dark

I spread
open my legs
feeling pressured and defeated
the TV blared so that
his mom wouldn't hear
my hands clenched into tight fists
I didn't want to touch him
but I
waited in the dark

I didn't see Santa Claus
instead
it was my parents
shoveling presents under
our tree
my verbal exclamation of shock
and betrayal
led to them disciplining me
for sneaking around
in the dark

I didn't look at him
instead
my eyes wandered around
his room
gazing at the guitars and
posters and
the closet and
even the TV
he ejaculated and
left me there, cold
in the dark

At school,
I told all of my friends
that Santa Claus wasn't real
I wanted everyone to know
the counselor pulled me aside
and said that it wasn't fair
for me to take this
from the other kids
it wasn't right
it wasn't my place
"Let them stay innocent
a little while longer."

I didn't want anyone to know
when I lost
my virginity
tears bubbling at my waterline,
I looked at myself
in disgust
It wasn't fair.
It wasn't right.
It wasn't his place.
Except there was no counselor
for me to speak to
only the sound
of water droplets
falling
as I cried in the shower

I thought that
I lost my innocence
when I found out
that Santa Claus wasn't
real.

But
this IS real
and hurts
so
much
more.

Andrew Kelly Jul 19

You ever hug the wall
At a high school homecoming?
Wishing those moths in your stomach,
Would just fucking die already.

You wore your brand new
Concrete shoes.
Slipped them on
To dance with your demons,
In a sea of your peers.

The fruit punch tastes like defeat,
The ballads from the 80’s are too damn loud.

Yet your peers are so cheery,
You, tired and weary.
Looking forward to going home,
And drink yourself to sleep.

Dealing with my first adolescent experiences with anxiety and depression

In a field
School kids
go to war,
In the field
Soldiers
go to work.

When She gets ready
She always thinks
'Will He like this? '
Before She puts on
The day's outfit.

In math class
She imagines him
Sitting next to her
Laughing that cute laugh
That She absolutely adores
So She can get
Through the period.

When She lies in bed
She can't ever sleep
Without imagining him
Wrapping his arms around her
Whispering how beautiful
He thinks She really is.

But when He passes her
In the halls,
He sees her as another girl
Blushing in his direction
as He turns his attention
to someone else.
The beautiful, blond skinny girl
With all that confidence and all that perfection
Who can never be with him,
Never hold him at night,
Never love him
The same way
The shy girl
With glasses can.

DJ Jul 17

Suicide.
So permanent.
So painful.

Do you have siblings?
If so,
Then let's imagine this,
One night,
Everything gets too much to bare,
Your head goes psychotic,
Your body goes numb,
You take that rope and hang yourself.
The next morning,
You're siblings run into your room,
Wanting to wake you up for breakfast,
When they see you hanging there,
Blue lips,
Cold body,
Dead eyes.
Their screams are piercing.
Then your mother comes running in,
Leaving the eggs to burn,
As she sees you hanging,
She screams as she unties the rope,
And you fall lifeless into her arms.
Her screams and tears.
Your siblings grow more and more each year.
Always haunted with the image of your body.
Your younger sister?
She has started to self harm and has landed herself in the hospital.
Your brother?
He tried shooting himself through the heart but missed by a centimeter.
Your mother?
She killed herself.
Leaving your siblings to the care of your father.

Do you live alone?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
You miss work for an entire week.
No call no show,
Which is totally out of character for you.
None of your family has heard from you.
You missed your weekly call with your mother.
Your best friend hasn't heard from you all week.
You missed your rent.
So your best friend (who has a key)
Enters your house/apartment,
And they see you laying on the bathroom floor,
In a week old puddle of blood,
Flies all over you,
Your body reeks of death,
The blade is laying right beside you on the floor.
Your best friend collapses,
Hand over mouth,
Loss of breath,
Unable to move.
They try calling 911,
But their hands are way to shaky.
So they scream as loud as possible,
While cradling your dead body.
And after a week of thinking it was their fault,
That they should've seen it,
That they could've done something,
They take a gun and pull the trigger.

An only child?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
Your parents are asleep,
Your dog is in your room,
But the dog is whining so loud,
Your mom tells your father to go check on the dog,
So he gets up,
Barely awake,
Locates the sound of the dog,
And opens your door,
Seeing your dead body.
His eyes go wide,
He screams for your mother to call an ambulance,
He grabs your body,
Cradling you,
Pushing the hair out of your face,
And telling himself that it was his fault.
That he was the reason for it all.
That he should've stopped it.
That he shouldn't have gone to sleep.
He starts drinking away his pain,
But he becomes an abusive drunk,
And starts beating your mother.
Until she files for divorce and split.
Your father ends up homeless and a drunk,
Your mother ends up dead in a year.

Are you being abused?
If so,
Let's imagine this,
Your abusers wind up finding you dead,
Not that big of a deal,
They knew it would happen,
But they didn't know that you could do something like this,
They end up charged with first degree manslaughter.
But that school you went to?
Yeah,
That person you played with at recess in elementary,
They knew about the abuse,
They knew about the depression,
And they blame themselves.
And then they end up self harming.
Until they end up accidentally killing themselves.
Your teachers?
Yeah,
Your favorite teacher that saw the bruises,
But did nothing about it,
Just got fired for slacking off.
And your other teachers?
They retired because they couldn't even look at where you used to sit,
Without breaking down,
They all cared.
That person who had a secret crush on you was heartbroken.
Your friends all cared.
Your teachers cared.

No matter what,
Everyone has a purpose.
No one deserves death.
No one desereves the pain of wanting to die,
Suicide stops your pain,
By transferring it to someone else.
It kills two people.

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