De Profundis | Teen Ink

De Profundis

December 19, 2022
By oftintangible BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
oftintangible BRONZE, Oswego, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

but if your arms were just a thousand miles closer
maybe I wouldn’t be writing this, pen to patient paper.
and if your eyes just welled up once for me, all over me-
maybe I’d be in your bed.

but if I google translated what you said to me a hundred times,
it would be oh, so simple, saying ‘I wouldn’t notice,’
‘I wouldn’t notice,’
‘if you’d killed yourself that day, I wouldn’t notice it.’
saying, ‘I hope you rot in that hospital room.’

and I’m here, screaming: ‘ALL MY LIFE, I’VE BEEN SINGING TO YOU’
and if your ears were a garden, they’d be singing it too.
and you’d hold me close in my hospital room.

I’m here, writing a poem in a hospital room.

but if your arms were just a thousand miles farther,
maybe you wouldn’t resent me so much.
and maybe if I didn’t promote you to Captain of the F*cking Titanic,
you’d jump off

you’d jump off.

and all I’m dreaming about is my hospital room.
hearing the caterwaul of Holden Caulfield’s tomb.
and I’m here, screaming: ‘ALL I NEEDED WAS SOMEONE LIKE YOU.’

and if your ears were a garden, they’d be singing it too.

if your eyes were a fountain, they’d be like mine.
and if your home was a casket, we’d be neighbors.
if your soul was a shelter, like I thought it was.
and if your arms were a stronghold

The author's comments:

This is almost unequivocally the most difficult piece I've ever brought myself to write...and like its lines convey, it was conceived within the walls of an inpatient facility. It's been just shy of a year now, where I've since learned to breathe for myself again, rather than for a person who bruised me so deeply I nearly lost my life. I've since learned to seek pleasure (rather than immense agony) in this life we're all so blessed to have. And I've learned to live it, rather than to simply survive. I hope my work can bring whomever reads this the catharsis it gave me to put into words for the first time.

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This article has 6 comments.

on Jan. 22 2023 at 11:28 pm
Marian_de_Silva GOLD, Gampaha, Other
19 articles 69 photos 123 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If this year has taught me anything, it's that grief can destroy a person.”

“Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it.”

"Don't assume the answer is no before you ask the question."

Ahhh!!! This is absolutely genius! Keep it up! ❤❤❤🙌

on Jan. 8 2023 at 5:31 pm
elizabeth-d-7, Aurora, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
wonderfully written and deeply vulnerable, beautiful work

lawnornament said...
on Jan. 4 2023 at 12:16 pm
lawnornament, Plainfield, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
The sheer immenseness of what was felt in the situation translated PERFECTLY. I’ve been in a similar one, and this made me feel very seen.
I’m also a particularly big fan of the CITR reference. I’ve noticed a lot of discourse surrounding his character lately, and a lot of people dismiss him as whiny, etc., without giving him the time of day to view his full situation. We say we are decreasing the stigmatization of mental health, but when we see one of the best literary representations of mental illness, suddenly it is ugly, it is annoying. Those of us with mental illnesses feel those repercussions. Also, with the book being his narration of what happened leading up to his hospitalization, whilst inside the hospital - I see what you did there.
Lovely work!

disneypoo said...
on Jan. 3 2023 at 10:32 pm
disneypoo, Chicago, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

on Jan. 3 2023 at 9:07 pm
Oliviathenotwriter, Aurora, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I love how you started and ended the poem with a line on their arms. The most grounding limbs, in my opinion. I love how you ended the poem unfinished. No period to stop growth, no resolve. Learning to breathe for yourself is a unending, painful, process, but a beautiful one at that. And you were able to capture that challenge in a way that pushes others, like me, to take the challenge.

drewm389 said...
on Jan. 3 2023 at 4:36 pm
drewm389, Aurora, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
i must say, reading this gave me slight feelings of turmoil and melancholy. this is a very powerful poem, and i would like to express great sympathy for the writer.