a step, a stumble, it all crumbles
set a foot to the ground, it all falls down
dread entangles limbs.
one foot forward, one backward
no cracks, no cracks
step on a crack, break your mother’s back.
click. turn. click.
check the lock. check the lock.
it’s not locked.
click, clack, click, clack
wait. doesn’t feel locked
can’t just leave it unlocked.
yanking, pulling, what am i doing
hair around feet, laid on sheets
texture tickles fingers.
a pluck of hair, a pluck of hair
until there’s no more there
sore fingers peck a raw scalp bare
voices pound a swollen brain to pulp
stop. redo. reassess. stop. redo. reassess.
a never-ending cycle.
i screamed, i cried, i really tried
but by then
it seemed that my free will had died
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.