Ten days after my eighteenth birthday, I received the news that a close friend I had grown up with had taken his own life. He was nineteen, and like a brother to me. His brother, only sixteen years old, found his body.
The grass, scorched and scratchy stems pricked the skin on my legs as I sat in the African red dust. The children on either side of me were holding my hands, their eyes wide in fascination as they traced their fingers up and down the blue and purple veins in my wrist. They poked every freckle, pinched my fingernails.
I’m slowing it down. Trying, so hard to write what I could never find the words to say. My chest is burning, heavy and all I want to do is smash my fist into something—anything, regardless of splitting bone. Tearing skin, scoring flesh—it never bleeds enough to let this bitterness seep out of my veins. You may as well try scoring into concrete. I don’t feel anything anymore, even if my body seems delicate and easily broken, I don’t flinch. And it’s because of you all.
One. I love and hate the way your dark eyes see into me, through me.
Two. The way your lips crack open like splitting branches, spilling sunlight.
It’s 4 AM.
I stole a few cans of cider from the fridge and as I sit at my desk
all I can think about is sending you a text even though I know it's a bad move because–
When I took you out for coffee, Dad,
I never actually wanted you to drink it.
Like an hourglass bleeds out sand
hope drips through clinging white fingers