when i first began to write poems, i kept them hidden in a little pink journal tucked in between my mattress and my box-spring. it was a dirty little secret i kept locked away. i knew what they would say if they could see those ink-stained pages:
“it’s so depressing.”
“why is it so dark?”
“where are they happy endings?”
what they wouldn’t—couldn’t—understand was that i wrote to cope. i wrote to let out my pain and anger and hatred. i stained those blank pages with grief and fear and loneliness.
the only poem my classmates have read of mine is “my life is a beach,” which was a class assignment that got me and a+ and a lot of strange looks. i didn’t understand then why they frowned when i called myself a poet, but i think i’m beginning to now.
i write poems for the living; for the dead; for the nonexistent. i write poems about lives i’ve never lived. i write poems for people i don’t know; for people who don’t know me. i write poems because i can’t stand to leave any page unmarked; because the relief i feel when i’m done is both euphoric and terrifying.
one day, i will show my journal to someone i love. and when they ask why there are no happy endings, i will smile and say, “i’m saving my happy endings for the real world.”
a poet’s heart can be lonesome and full of horror, but with the right pen and the perfect light, something beautiful can be seen there, too.