Guest post: Poetry from a teen who's been there

Choices

I could choose night
and fold myself together
fight against the velvety
clouds, paint violet circles
under my eyes.
Tell myself it’s never gone,
The day is never gone.
 
I could choose morning,
Hair wet at seven sharp,
Brown belt tight on the
Fourth loop, my mind a
barren field of sunflowers that never die.
 
And that sounds good,
That sounds perfect.
 
Or I could choose sleep,
 
            dream drugs
            of things
            i wish
            i never
            lost or
            left or
            forgot.
 
And I could choose earth
            and broken sneakers
            and restless sweat
            and girls that run because otherwise
            it hurts to breathe.

 …
 
But months pass, thoughts pass, summers pass
And soon choices stop becoming gifts.
They become burdens in shades
of black/white, dark/light, that
Twine together in the pit
of my stomach and I
am sick I am sick
I am sick. PLEASE
someone free
me from my
free will.

Because I could choose knives
and etch my skin in frantic
cries for a reawakening,
an end to this pain that comes
in dark waves that I cannot see
the top of and sometimes leaves
me feeling like a traitor
in my own bed
in my own life
and oh.

Where are the choices now when I could end it all?
 
But no.
 
I am stronger than sad scars and sharp silver,
than the watery mirror and the deflated eyes.
I am stronger than the demons in my head,
The roaring in my nose
Than the sagging of mornings and the shadows of night.
Than the rain that pounds my chest, than the
Doubt that pierces my heart in glass splinters
That bleed when I walk down the hallway.
 
I am stronger than the loopy “y”s and bubbled “i”s
On the worksheets that pile my desk in sagging
Mountains. Mountains I fold myself in when my
Sister yells “Ready or Not!”
            Here I come and
 I am STRONGER than dust left from
Trying shoes I am STRONGER than smudged
words and hollow deaths I am STRONGER than this
thick blanket I keep dragging through bristling woods and
empty kitchens and
 
I’ve got extra tires for the potholes and I’ve got
Shutters to hide the blood stains and I am MORE than
This Aching,
This Breaking
This Taking: more than the cricket’s song rewinding,
A Dusty Book unbinding,
More than the clouds and the storms
Clenched hands gripping old velvet
Bears and narrowing horizons outside
School windows.
More than that.
because
 
I am here from a careful hand
Sculpted with eccentric eyes.
You can tell from the dent on my nose
&the map of Australia on my armpit
And sometimes I am the shadows on sunny sidewalks
And sometimes I am crusty lips on creaking bleachers&broken eyes in cold showers&scars on crinkled notebook paper
 
Sometimes I am exploding inside.

My mind has been sprinting
for far too long against harsh
winds and dark skies and
I could give up
if I really
wanted
to.

But we are all racing through abandoned streets
with tired hearts
we are all looking for lights
in alleys and scraps in trash
cans and love in strangers
 
and some of us
are natural runners,
some of us were just born a
little closer to the sun, but we
are all racing and we are all
hurting and we are all fighting
to catch our breath
 
and yet…there are still
litte stars
burning stubbornly in our eyes.

*****

Sidney Wollmuth is sixteen years old and currently lives in Northern Virginia. She spends most of her free time writing, reading, studying, running, or watching "The Office" on Netflix (JAM forever). She is not exactly sure what the meaning of life is but she plans to find out. To win her affection, simply buy her a carton of cookie dough ice cream, a lifetime supply of Celestial Seasoning Sleepytime tea, and a pink pair of cabin socks.