By Veronika Pister, TIWP student
It used to be enough for me to bleed
onto the page,
messy red fingerprints splotched across
a poorly worded cry for help.
This is what poetry was to me,
late Sunday nights with too much time
on my hands,
writing the clichés out for the first time
and memorizing the way they felt
simmering on my tongue,
saying “I’m in pain,” in words
diluted enough that the hurt didn’t
seem so pointless.
It’s not enough anymore to stain a
page with burgundy,
not enough to cry into notebooks.
Salt and blood do not make polished pieces
to take home as tokens
of emotional turmoil.
Sadness alone is not shocking enough
to demand its own page.
This is what poetry is to me,
and endless abyss of possibilities
that I can no longer manipulate into
one more thing that I used to be
Building up the courage to write
down my truth for two days
only to read it back and find it
to be a string of clichés.
So my page is full of tear tracks
and I’ll press my open wounds against
the college rule.
And after all, that I still won’t have
one line to show for it.