Survival Notes

Location

1. Scrub your skin clean
until the fingerprints
of mean boys
are wiped clear from
your thighs and wrists. 

2. When your heart weighs
too much to hold,
insert a pin needle
through your aortic valve
watch it deflate
like a red balloon and
revel in the lightness
of your once
heavy heart.

3. Light a candle
for every night
you've kept yourself alive.
At year's end,
your house will burn brighter
than the yellow core of the sun.

4. When wasps sting,
it is their way of
kissing in a hidden language.
Your pain has meaning,
and it is saying
"get well soon."

5. Stretch your arms
out to the sides
and use them
as angel wings
instead of
balance beams.
Fly up
from rock bottom.

6. Recognize
that every breath of yours
is a badge of victory.
Don't surrender
with a white flag.
You are a warrior.

7. Don't confuse
the moths in your gut
for butterflies.
Moths burn to death
in the light.
So pour the moths
from your ribcage
into the sun
and watch them
burn to a crisp
in the light.

8. There are no
beautiful suicides.
All fingertips
cease to touch
and all hearts
are broken.
There is no poetry
in empty bedrooms
and crying mothers.
There are better
ways to die.

9. Take sewing lessons and
stich back together
the slits in the
palms of your hands
and patch
the hole in your chest
with lavender fabric. 

10. Your bedroom's walls
are the color of grief.
Paint over the blue
with blood-orange
paint.

11. A star takes
7 million years to die.
You are only 19.
You are a map in the sky,
millions would be lost
without you. 

Guide that inspired this poem: 

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