I/We by Shereen

Posted on March 3, 2015 by

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Before I begin, I’d like to quote Hemingway and prove him erroneous.
He said “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down to a typewriter and bleed.”
But I’ve spent about two months and a few days gushing blood out of me along every heartbeat, without words falling out. What have I done wrong?
I am not much of a writer
or a speaker
or a reader
I am not much of myself
I stutter
I shake
I forget
But dear God,
I try.

Eight to seventeen, going on eighteen
that’s how long I’ve been told that “I” is too selfish to fit phrases
“I” isn’t as poetic as “we”
“I” isn’t as appealing as “we”
although “we” in phrases like “we don’t deserve to see your frown”
or “control your temper when we talk to you”
sounds a lot more selfish than “I” on its own.

Dear God,
eight to eighteen
this isn’t grief that follows like a shadow
this is what happens after a shadow has fled
this is what I try to explain to ignorant beasts
this is what I beg of them not to label “grief”
or sorrow
and for God’s sake, I say,
do not babble “we’re here for you”
because when I do, you say “turn to God”
God is watching me. God already knows.
God knows that when I speak to Him,
I already know I won’t hear
I already know I won’t see
I already know He exists
and I already know I’m a senseless believer

Dear God,
why don’t they?
why don’t they get that I am too deep into this state that I can’t even comprehend myself to explain myself
eight to eighteen
and I can’t control my lungs when things go horrible
or my hands when I get angry
this world makes it so hard to breathe in
and so hard to find closure
and so terrible to try and live in
eight to eighteen
and a relapse some time in between
every time I think things won’t get any worse and I won’t get any angrier,
I get proven wrong
and God, I do not know why

Dear god,
I’ve been deceived.
they’ve told us things get better after they get worse
but things got worse after I got myself to get better,
after I’ve gotten myself to get rid of the bitterness engraved like
childhoods’ lovers’ initials on trees
like scars of suicidal minds on wrists and thighs and hearts
like a brutal, indestructible tumor
like tattoos
and my getting rid of bitterness was like acid
like glass
on skin.

Dear God,
they’ve recited stories they’ve memorized by heart
about how to surround yourself with people more often
instead of reciting poems on how I’m not supposed to need anyone more than I need myself
they’ve forgotten to remind us we’re more than half
and that we need no completion
they’ve forgotten self-appreciation
and maybe that’s why I’ve mastered all types of loathe
from self to universal

Dear God,
I forgot how to properly confess on my knees
so I am writing
and this isn’t bleeding, this is its aftermath and I’m trying my best not to ruin it the way I’ve ruined myself
this is 220 to 130 pounds in a few weeks
this is prisoner on floors
this is what no one will ever see
this is what they’ve misjudged as lethargy
and fatigue and sorrow
this is what others labeled “depression”
and this is “I” saying eight to eighteen
and a relapse some time in between
without a “we”

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