NOT THE FIRST TIME

Wasn’t the first time.

 

The first time,
no surprise:
an artist-in-disguise,
already dependent: addicted,
to the self-inflicted
fissures in her skin:
couldn’t win,
hadn’t lost yet but
losing’s not the point -
it’s what goes with it:
an end to
all the fighting,
all the faking,
all the life-and-living- hating.
A prolonged attack
upon her neck,
the blunted edge fails: what next?
 She cannot stop,
she won’t give up
but the blood just doesn’t look like enough;
again, again, she
swipes and stabs and slides and flails and cuts but fails
to make an entry deep enough
to make it gush
and pour and bleed more
than not enough.
Tough:
she sighs, and stops
and cries and mops
up the evidence.
That was the first time.

 

After the first
they often lost that burst -
that compulsive, delicious, repulsive, ambitious glow;
when you know
there’s just one way out and you need to take it,
there’s no
denying the necessary desire,
the heat, that flame
that feels of pain
and fear
and anger
and tears
that won’t stop,
won’t dry up:
“get tough!”
- “alright.”
Yeah, the first time
is usually the last time
and the last time
only works half the time. 

 

…but not this time.

 

Who knew that a mental picture
could be fatal -
that the idealistic,
unrealistic have-to’s
of a pretention you know how to use,
but which seems to lose
it’s perfection on the page;
whose undeniable rightness
in the mind,
quickly gives way to a tightness
in the throat
when the cruel seconds
and minutes
that you only want to stop,
begin to
smudge and pull and scrunch and twist
and stretch and shrink and ruin
the perfectness of this
visual, this unique feeling when quite suddenly,
you’ve got it. just. right – who knew  that a “disorder”
characterised by “compulsions” and “obsessions”,
leaving true-or-false impressions,
a reality that might be true,
a “this-is-me” that isn’t you,
could wake a storm so sadly strong
that the girl who tried
to get it right,
so quickly got it wrong?
Because the punishment
of such a fail, is found
in a grave that is deceptively long.

 

And here I stand,
a rope in hand -
a deadly loop framing my view.
All I know, it’s not a want -
it’s a need, a guilty have-to.
My only thought,
my last desire:
it’s a greedy double split.
One, to forget: to sleep, to go,
without fear of a tomorrow
to get right;
though fear still holds on-
how will it feel
when this egg-shaped-air-pocket
becomes tight?
My other thought,
the gardens that
my mind still insists to wander,
is of a child
I used to know,
whose cruel end I’ve continued to ponder.
Still I am plagued with regret-filled longing,
a wish: that I’d known,
that I’d asked – how I groan!
for if I’d been there for the first time,
to care and to comfort a friend,
perhaps there would not be a last time:
perhaps, she'd outlive such an end.

 

And now, as the chair is kicked out,
and the air
beneath me is unable to hold -
might I be bold, and say one last word:

 

let us throw stigmas, NOT lives, to the cold!

 

Kill the silence, maybe more will get to grow old. 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 

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