Hour 24 – Take Me to Maine

I want to plant my feet into

The earth until they take root.

 

I want to stay here, in this

Place that feels like coming

Home, and never leave again.

 

I want to live inside of that

Sunrise in Seboomook, relive 

The night before where we 

Went looking for a moose and

Turned into excited children 

When we found three. I want 

That awe back, that peace and

Quiet of being in the middle of 

Nowhere with no cell reception.

 

Give me back the days in Acadia, 

The feeling of being on top of the

World, looking over the ocean

Atop Cadillac Mountain.

 

I can’t keep tearing myself to

Shreds every time I cross over

The state line away from my peace.

Hour 23 – Anxiety

I wish my anxiety wasn’t so desperate, 

That I could plant seeds without immediately 

Needing to dig them back up because

Maybe they aren’t the right seeds or 

Maybe I don’t know how to give them what they need. 

 

I wish I didn’t feel the constant nagging

To capture every moment, every person

Because even in the happiest moments 

All I can think about is the fact that 

Everyone I know is going to die and 

So am I and what are we if there’s 

Nothing to remember us by? 

 

There are so many things 

I’m afraid I’ll never do, and 

If I don’t, that my life is wasted. 

 

Things like giving back to my parents

What they gave to me, or 

Looking into my child’s eyes for the first time, 

Or finding that one person who 

Doesn’t think I’m crazy for having

Such a whirlwind of emotions. 

 

One who isn’t as exhausted as

I am over myself. 

Hour 22 – Pieces

My mind fragments into a million pieces

A million interests and versions of myself

And I am left trying to catch them like butterflies in a net

Trying to cobble together any that I manage to catch 

 

And lately, I’ve been collapsing in on myself

Like that abandoned house on Donahue

Slowly being returned to nothingness. 

 

You wanted to love me but there was never 

Enough time. 

 

Isn’t it funny how we never know

What time will be the last time? 

Or the only time, even. 

 

I really wish that I could be creative 

Without needing to be separated 

Into tiny pieces first. 

Writing is the glue that holds me together 

And helps me fall back in… 

well, like with the world. 

 

Like, not love, 

Because all I know of love is pain 

And the world is too beautiful to be 

synonymous with love. 

Hour 21 – To My Partner

I need the type of person who

Can understand me even when I’m silent. 

Maybe especially then. When my

Voice has been arrested by

Seemingly endless despair,

I need you to remind me

That there is still something

In this life to look forward to.

Something that gives me more

Comfort than ending this pain. 

 

This life has beaten me down.

Kindness has hidden away from me

For years, and maybe that is why I

Cannot find it in myself to even

Establish boundaries. Boundaries

Are just lines on a map I do not possess

Because I am too busy justifying –

Too busy telling myself about the

Trauma of others to care about

What I am putting myself through.

Hour 20 – Tell Your Story

I want my skin to show 

That I have lived.

Give me your stretch marks,

Sunspots and tattoos, your

Scars and all your stories. 

 

Tell me about that time 

At the beach where you

Got so lost in conversation

You forgot to redo the sunscreen.

 

I want to hear why this

Design jumped out at you

When you were choosing 

What to ink your body with.

 

Tell me about the dark moments,

The skinned knees, the

Embarrassing injuries and the 

Bruises you thought wouldn’t heal.

 

I do not want to go to the grave

Unblemished and pristine.

Each mark is a story.

Keep telling them. 

Hour 19 – Black Sheep

I can still remember the exact moment 

The rosy tint was wiped off of my glasses.

 

I was eight, and at 26 now

I still don’t know if he knows 

This one seemingly small moment was

The impetus of my changed worldview. 

 

The moment that knocked me out 

Of my family’s orbit and turned me into the enemy.

A moment, so small,

Yet somehow changed everything.

 

I was bored, you see. 

We’d been at a museum the whole day

And I was a child, over it and ready to go home. 

Fingers clasped onto my neck;

My cue to knock it off. 

 

I explained, in my childlike way,

That we didn’t need to like the same things while

Fingers dug into the sweat at the back of my neck. 

 

All I said was that I wasn’t interested 

And fingernails became talons digging further. 

 

He whispered daggers into my ears

He gave me everything and this was my penance.

I was nothing if not for what he had molded me into. 

 

The next month was spent learning to be a lady.

Quiet please, no slouching, don’t dare to make waves. 

 

One moment turned into a countdown, a mantra. 

I made you, you’re nothing.

Sit down, shut up, move on. 

 

What he didn’t know was that being a nerd 

Has its advantages. 

By ten, one of the most well-read kids in class.

Twelve, in advanced classes. 

Fourteen, I was rocking extracurriculars. 

 

All this to say that at sixteen, 

When I had my first girlfriend

I was smart enough to go back to those lessons.

Shut up, don’t make waves. 

 

Ten years later, 

I’m the one everyone at the holidays

Rolls their eyes at and whispers about 

In corners, but I’m not ashamed. 

 

I am nothing like what they tried to mold.

My compassion isn’t lesser, 

My kindness is a strength unknown to them, 

And all I can feel now all these years later is pity 

That they will never step far enough out 

Of a self-contained bubble to greet 

The real world and her people.

Hour 18 – Listen

I want you to listen.

No, I mean really listen. 

Like gather around the campfire

And let’s talk about our deepest pains

 

Listen while we crack our

Hearts open on the page and

Give you a tour around the shadows

 

Listen as we dig up the

Old bones of our past hurts,

Secrets we’ve never dared to

Utter to anyone else. 

Hour 17 – Reading, Prose Poem

When I was little, I never got in trouble like the other kids in school. I wasn’t mouthy, I did my homework. But the teachers still had a pet peeve with me just the same. I read too much, and I read above where I was supposed to be. Imagine being told by a teacher that going above and beyond, enjoying learning – is a Bad Thing. I was six years old. I still never took my head out of a book. When they shoved “age-appropriate” books at me, I just read three in the time I should’ve read one. Reading was a form of escapism for me and even if they didn’t understand, they weren’t going to take it away. So I was only six years old when I realized that our school system is not about the joys of learning, but instead focuses only on conformity. 

 

“Books were always safer than people anyway” – Neil Gaiman

Hour 16 – My Dad Called

On a Sunday afternoon, my dad called. 

This was unusual, since, well, 

We don’t call each other. So

I knew that meant that

Something was very wrong. 

 

I hadn’t even answered yet, 

Heart in my throat, racing,

But I knew it was my mother.

Otherwise, it would be her

Name on the caller ID.

 

She’s having chest pains,

She can’t breathe. Just 

Come to the hospital.” 

 

I wish I still had no idea 

What a pulmonary embolism was. 

I sat at her bedside all night, the 

Doctors said they hope she’ll

Wake up by morning. I don’t 

Want to think about what I’ll 

Do if she doesn’t. 

 

The beeping of the machines

Has never quite gotten out of 

My head, even five years later,

Even with her completely fine. 

 

To stand on the precipice like

That with the one person who’s been 

There since day one is a different 

Kind of terror. And two years later, 

When my aunt died in that same

ICU room, I couldn’t help but 

Thank God for the first time in 

My life, and believe in miracles.

Hour 15 – Yes is an Door

I wish that I had known back then

That asking for help was an option. 

 

Before the downward spiral, before

I took things out on myself, before 

I had failed out of college, before

I was a shell of who I used to be. 

 

When someone asked if I 

Needed help, I desperately wish

I had known that ‘yes’ was an option. 

 

That ‘yes’ would open doors that

Could’ve saved me from so much

More pain. 

 

Instead, I took 10 years to see

That suffering was not the only 

Choice, like I had seen others

Make. I could do it differently 

And end the cycle with me. 

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