English Assignment

Three semesters ago

I was assigned a poem for an English grade

I was excited because I write

I write often

I write fluidly


But I found that, when I had to

I could not write at all


I delved into the most hidden parts of myself, looking for something,

Anything but tomfoolery,

To write about


What I found finally moved my pencil was my suicide attempt


So I wrote about blood stains and emptiness and scars and how my mother still doesn’t know I had ever tried to die because I never cut deep enough to cause real damage ohgodIwasonlyinsixthgradewhatdidIknow?


The assistance of hindsight embarrassed me thoroughly

And I switched to present-tense

And wrote about carving and being numb and bleeding and not telling my mother when I had to clean up the mess.

And I turned it in.


My teacher wrote me a note on the front about how well I wrote and one on the back about how beautiful life is, and gave me an A.

And that was all.


But I couldn’t help but thinking-what if it hadn’t been a poem about past?

What if I was still slicing into my forearm trying to die?

Because, for all his knowledge, I was.

What if it had been a cry for help?

What if it had been a warning?

What if my sophomore year poem had been a present reality and I had ended up dead?












This poem is about: 
Our world


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