Page 10 - HEF Pen & Ink 2023
P. 10

By Zander Taylor
Stop asking that same question How are you today?
I answer
I answer with the same response I’m doing well, and you?
No that’s not true
Rip my heart out and look
Look at the wounds that I’ve stitched closed so poorly Poor me
Feel my burning lungs
Burnt. Caracoled and black from all the times I inhaled the fire Hot and everlasting
The fire that I can’t put out
I won’t.
I won’t put it out or complain
No, I won’t
Because complaining is weak Weak and childish
I am not childish
I have grown up to be mature Mature for my age
My grade
My siblings
My family.
I’ve grown to be strong
No crying
I have nothing to cry about Crying is useless
I am not useless
I’m just ungrateful
Because I cry
I sob
Scream, even
Shut up
Zip it
You’re supposed to be mature
You’re not weak
You’re doing well, right?
Shut up and take it
Take everything and zip your disgusting lips Lips you chew on and scab
Chapped and dirty
Dirty of other people’s lips
You’re so dirty
You’re 14
Don’t ask me my body count
How many people I’ve kissed
It’s embarrassing
You’re a disgusting human
A toy, really
You’re a gross kid.
Just like they all told you Don’t
Don’t ask me that question Are you okay?
Shut up
Shut up, I ask silently
But I smile
I nod my head because
I’m fine, thank you
I’m fine
Ignoring everything that makes me want to scream at you
Scream and speak and cry
No! Sit down with me and talk to me! I have no real pur- pose right now. I’m without a crowd. A clique. Friends. Friends?
No. I just. I hurt! I am in pain. Don’t break character
So, I wave at you
I wave goodbye and carry on with my thoughts And the cycle continues
The cycle that wont
Art By Hannah Rosine

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