A Poem That I Put on Paper This Saturday That I’ve Been Writing Since Seventh Grade

By Veronika Pister, TIWP student

I had not looked you in the eyes in two months

And you couldn’t just let it be.

Your wrists are covered in friendship bracelets that I did not make and cut marks that you do not remember making.

You hold barbed wire to my throat and you push it against my jugular and as you watch the blood streaks ruin my shirt you say: “I’m sorry I know this must be triggering for you.”

I would scream but I know it would only make the bleeding worse

I don’t recognize you.

Your pupils have been dilated for 48 hours

and you don’t know if you’ve slept or not because you can’t tell the difference between dreaming and tripping.

And you won’t let me hang up the phone when you fall asleep because you say you feel more desperately alone than you ever thought you could;

The kind of alone that puts psychiatrists on speed dial and types out 911 just in case.

And I hold my tongue because I’m dying to ask:

If you really need me then why was I the last call you made?

And if you really think you fucked up then why are you still twisting the knife into my ribcage?

How is it fair that when I sob until my body’s sore I’m suppose to suck it up and when you want a shoulder to cry on I’m still suppose to suck it up?

How is it fair that we only talk when you miss your therapy session?

You tell me that you haven’t been yourself lately and for a beat I’m so glad you’re back.

And then I remember you’ve never been more like yourself; this is who you are.

You are conceded and you are cruel and you’re the bitter taste in my mouth every time I open up to someone.

Half because I hear your voice saying: “you never ask how I’m doing”

And half because I run through all the ways they could use my demons against me when I do something wrong.

Because the last time I told you about a healing scar you got a little too curious and you dug your hands into the raw skin; you ripped at the stitching.

Now your fingerprints are melded into my hot flesh and as you prod at the wound, you announce that it’s your scar to bear now.

Your pain, your trauma, but it’s written across my skin.

I would give you a seventeenth chance but I told my friend just last week about how your name tastes like mold on my tongue because you are a festering infection that’s lingered on the pads of my fingers for three years

And she told me through a scoff to give it a week because I always let you back in.

I haven’t looked you in the eyes for two months. I hope I never do again.

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