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?