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Slip.

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you’ve got the compassion of a knowing grandmother
who smiles down at her grandchild from ear to ear, saying,
"oh it’s okay, dear. would you like a cookie?"
which is probably why, when I or any decent human being
who can distinguish the difference between a genuine smile and a forced one
ask what’s wrong, you simply reply
"oh, nothing, I’m fine,"
as if we’re oblivious to the fact that
there’s five straight lines on your arms,
and that you didn’t apply any eyeliner today
because one of your one thousand and three worries is what
people think of you,
and wouldn’t it be just horrendous to know
Nancy and Jenna have been talking about
the way you shrieked and cried in the bathroom stall,
telling yourself over and over out loud that you wish life wasn’t here at all?
oh, but that’s not the worst of your problems, now is it?
I know that feeling you get
in the pit of your stomach,
when you open your eyes in the morning and realize once again that today
just might be your very last day,
that tonight you’ll say goodbye to this
cruel, hostile, poor excuse of a life,
of a world.
that is, of course, your plans, isn’t it?
unless your mom or psychologist or just someone finally notices your withdrawals
and convinces you that maybe tomorrow will be better,
even though every 10 seconds another death occurs
because of child abuse. even though in 3 seconds, another teenager
will die of skin cancer and even though in 2 hours,
another baby will be born into this world from a 15 year old girl who
got raped exactly 8 and a half months ago.
but your mom or psychologist or someone who finally notices these symptoms
and secrets of the past you’ve been keeping right here,
on your back, won’t tell you any of these things because they claim
they only care about you, but in reality,
all your psychologist cares about is the medication
he prescribes you that gives him the pay check that feeds his growing family at home,
all your mother cares about is her reputation
in this town…she can’t afford to have a problem child,
oh no, a member of the PTA and a leader of your younger sister’s girl scout group
could never have a troubled teen.
and heaven forbid that the whole school knows you’re suicidal, kid,
because then, that boy you associate with after school on the football field,
who says he “gets it”? that he gets what it’s like to be bullied?
to be tormented all the days of your horrible high school life?
that once, he too, was hurt the same way that you and I hurt
every second of every hour of our rotten life?
well, he wouldn’t be able to look at you without sputterin g those words.
those same words he said that once,
he too, was called by his peers.
emo, goth, punk, scene.
but yet, now that all your insides have been twisted
inside out for the whole world to see,
he’s no longer a friend. he’s your enemy.
and he’s tearing your house down.
he was that kid who once told you to never consider yourself worthless.
he blamed your sickness on
"the ones who also have a low self-esteem but get your self-esteem down, too."
because that's all we ever wanted, right?
for someone to feel like us and go through the hell we've gone through,
so we can feel more secure about ourselves but in reality,
what good does that do?
nothing.
our self-esteems still nonexistent, if not even lower than before,
and after watching one more person suffer for a second too long,
we're just heartless souls seeping through the floorboards.
so child, please, don’t give up hope just yet.
this world needs a lot of changing,
and you just might be the heart that will make it start.



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