The Graveyard

Y'ALL! I presented this poem in 2017 at a talent show and got a standing ovation.

If that isn't skills, I don't know what is. Anyways - thought I lost it, then I found it!

Please enjoy.





Mental illness

has no appearance.

But if it did look like something,

It would look like a skeleton dragging

Bleached bones into its own grave.

It would look like an ocean so expansive and infinite that

Searching for land would be impossible.

You would accept drowning as a mercy.

And depression would look like

Mines that dwarves abandoned long ago,

Left the dead buried in the rocks as a tribute,

But now they're just haunting me and

Mania would be a mountain so high

That the clouds would have to reach to touch your toes,

But you don't know how you got up there

You're just there

And when you remember that humans aren't meant to fly,

You'll fall farther than Icarus,

Past the sun and

Crashing into a sea, its tentacles reaching for you because

It knows

That you've already given up.


If suicide looked like something other than death,

It would look like a scream,

Something so silent and loud that it

Splits your brain,

Makes you wish you'd taken one more pill,

One more sip

But the screaming keeps

Going and you're not sure if it'll ever stop but then your

Mother is there and she's asking

"Why? Why would you do this?"

And in the hospital room,

Before the doctors take you away,

You tell her how beautiful the stars are,

How small we are in comparison and how far we'd have to reach to touch them,

But that makes us more beautiful.

She just says, "sleep, please.

You'll need it."

You wish you would have taken her advice because since then,

No amount of sleep has made you feel alive.

If the world saw mental illness,

They would see me stripping the skin from my flesh,

Thin, opaque layers tinted red from boiling blood

They would see a torso being

Dragged by its arms,

Limbs too weak to get anywhere meaningful

They would see a complete body.

Eye sockets empty, black holes and

A beautiful smile, waiting to be framed in the hall so that people could say,

"Oh, is that your son? He's so handsome."

And you would be forced to explain his loss

Or maybe you would have said it as I do:

"She's still alive, living in Australia.

She's my dad's crazy ex.

She isn't around anymore; I don't talk to her anymore;

I haven't seen her in a long time, do you want to meet her?"


If the world could see mental illness,

They would see a child reading,

Wishing to fly far, far away on waxen wings.

They would see a child gasping for air,

Stolen by his now dead mother.

They would see a grownup in a child's body,

Not an adult but forced to grow up because that was all there was left to do

They would see a child in tears because he thought he had cancer,

Thought he was dying,

Thought he would die,

Was on the verge of death, they would see a child in a graduation cap,

Refusing to move the tassel because he couldn't accept growing up

Because he couldn't accept leaving her behind

They would see a child and his wide, scared eyes.

If the world could see mental illness,

It would see an empty mass grave,

Waiting for the bodies.



This poem is about: 
My family


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