Poetry: “Her” by Alessandra Ortiz

Her

**WARNING: Do not read if you are sensitive to or triggered by abusive relationships of any kind including domestic abuse, emotional abuse, or rape. This is purely a fictitious poem hoping to create more awareness regarding physical abuse.**

Her hands shook softly

I noticed that much

And that her innocent heart was just too good to touch.

I remember that night

Very well indeed

She had one too many drinks

And that heart started to bleed.

I carried her weight

From the couch to the bed

Curiously wondering what words went unsaid

Contemplating if I should sleep in her bed

So I crawled up next to her

Hoping I hadn’t misred.

There she laid

Thoughtless and dazed

Her body black

With white lines across her face.

My hands shook softly

But I wasn’t afraid

So I leaned in slowly

And kissed that beautiful babe.

Her curves were sexy

Luring me in too deep

She suddenly spoke out,

“Stop, I need some sleep.”

But it was too late now

And I wasn’t even sorry

This kind of thing was supposed to happen at these parties.

She laid there, still

Tears streaming from her eyes

As I finished in ecstasy

Her purity was now mine.

All thanks to a little dose of red wine

Tequila shots, Vodka, Manhattans and lime.

She staggered to the shower

Stripped of all her clothes and pride

When she turned around and whispered,

“I wished to be a virgin bride.”

But it was too late now

And we weren’t even sorry

Because there was nothing she could do

She had to face reality.

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Poetry: Making it Real by Nicholas Woods

Everyone sees an asshole
A jerk, a loudmouth show off with too many opinions and too many flaws to love
But my mirror shows a scared little boy
Asking where the time went
Asking why did he make the decisions he did
Crying but ashamed of it
Depressed but unable to tell anyone
Anxious but riddled with guilt for having “made up” problems
Lonely when surrounded by people
Overwhelmed with thoughts when alone
My mirror shows a scared child in pain
That doesn’t want to ask for help
Because asking for help means there’s a problem that’s real

Everyone sees a frightened little boy trying to be a man
But my mirror shows a guy, an asshole,
A loudmouth jerk who uses his problems as excuses
An insecure man who writes down his problems
Because the child inside him won’t allow him to bottle it up
And suffocate himself anymore

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This poem comes from Nicholas Woods .You can find more of his poetry on his website, Tumblr, and Instagram page.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Poetry: Giving My Illness a Name

I flirted with death
long before my sadness was given a name
there’s something about being so sad
for so long
that makes it seem like death is the only option

I flirted with death
long before anybody knew about my sadness
there’s something about giving depression a name
that takes it’s power away

some say
giving something a name gives it more power
but I don’t think that is true
because giving depression a name
told me that it wasn’t just me
sent me a message that my sadness wasn’t forever

I flirted with death
long before my sadness was given a name
my depression
it is my depression because I own the illness
it does not own me

R.E


 

Find more poetry from this author on their Tumblr page.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Poetry: An Aspiring Nihilist by Hannah Buckley

An Aspiring Nihilist

An American field ant can withstand pressures up to 5,000 times its body weight
But the step of one shod foot and its killed in an instant
Strength seems irrelevant if you’re dead

A Cross-River Gorilla has opposable thumbs and has a muscled frame that stands over 5 feet
The entire species straddles extinction due to the greed of another cutting down their home
Phalanges perfect for peeling fruit seems useless if your shelter has been stolen

A seemingly healthy 17-year old can drop dead in the middle of the ice during hockey practice
An athletic build and healthy lifestyle do little to alleviate an unknown heart condition
The full scholarship to a Division One school seems less impressive when you’re in a casket underground

Look at yourself from the perspective of the moon and you are nothing

Struggle silently
Or don’t
No one really cares

Repeat the mantra and soak in the hopelessness
Convert the dread to power, use it as fuel
Hedonistically approach each day

It doesn’t matter you failed that test
It doesn’t matter you gained some weight
It doesn’t matter you lost your friend

It doesn’t matter
It doesn’t matter
It doesn’t matter

But it still hurts

 


This poem comes from the talented Hannah Buckley. Follow her on her Instagram here.

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Poetry: Escaping an Incoming Wave


Escaping an Incoming Wave

By: Katelyn Chandler


 

When I was younger we had this game
We would all sneak out at ten.
Meet up past the village light post and run to the local beach.

We played only in the night
And ran into the waves.
You wait by the edge and when the breeze slams you in the face
You run as fast as you can into the incoming wave.

It will knock you over
Sweep you under
Steal breath from you.

First to stay above water the whole time wins.
Though no one ever didThe
waters impact too strong for any of us to escape.
The sea swept us under
It traps us in
Every damn timeJust
as it has
Just as it does
Just as it will.


 

Thanks to Kate for this amazing piece. You can find her first powerful piece submitted to the site, Sarah’s Poem, here.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to Dear Hope and share your story, art, or article related to mental health? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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“Unused Suicide Note” – A Look Back on The Night I Almost Took My Life

Trigger warning: this post discusses suicide.

 


“Unused Suicide Note”

By Morgan Stabile


10:32

Pitch black to any outsider, but I, the sole permanent resident, know where everything is. I don’t have to wait for my eyes to adjust. The day went by like all the other. Routine. Routine. Routine. Stick to the Routine. Today felt different though. Heavier. Duller. The numbers swirling around my head making it impossible to sleep. How many calories is in one apple slice? That piece of gum I swallowed by accident?

10:40
Technique One: Make lists.

Favorite technique. Ease mind, making lists, of happy things, happy things, things I’ll do when I’m pretty. Pretty. Skinny. But it’s harder to do tonight. After staring at the mirrored doors of my closet in the in the dark for an hour, hoping to see some change, any sign of change. Every night my hopes swallowed up by the every growing blob starting back at me. Thick thunder thighs, wide linebacker shoulders, chicken wings flapping under my arms, obese outstretched pouch holding my large intestines. I wish I could reach in and rip them out. I’m not using them anyway and it might take off a few inches. I used to almost see her, that beautiful, skinny, girl inside of me. The emptiness inside will be gone once I see her in that mirror, that day seems like it will never come and at night laying here in bed again that void eating away.

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Graduation

Dear Hope started as an assignment, and is now so much more: a community of coping, recovery, addiction, healing, pain, love, loss, transparency, authenticity, doubt, and resilience. Today, I graduate alongside Paul, Amanda, Zach, and so many more souls that have made this community possible. This morning, I reflected on the last four years. The most important lesson I have learned is that there will be people you love that will either water your self-growth to flourish, or stomp on it out of personal pain and insecurity. We all deserve the former, and for when the latter is an unfortunate reality, we are all here for you. This is not a journey to ever be taken alone. Thank you all for growing with us.

i remember how those jeans looked when you put them on one pant leg at a time, and then when both flickered glimmers of future false hope and came together, met with a zipper. you always told me that the mirror was a lot less friendly than reality, but now I’m not so sure that the reflection was an inaccurate piece of diction regarding the color you drain from the world, first in wavelengths smaller than your pinky toe, and then all at once, like a vacuum.

the skies have smiled and cried and wiped up old tears and crusted snot since you left. it seems like i’ve brought every single goddamn cloud to this piece of paper, rain or shine. it’s trite, it’s boring, but it’s the only sick and sad way of coping with losing every drop of precipitation that changed the dry cracks in the ground into sunflowers. i never cared if they were yellow or pink or black and white. they were real.

it’s time to accept that cracked concrete is still concrete and can still grow flowers, even if they are black dahlias or dandelions that the people in my life that have told me that i’ll never be good enough deem to just be common weeds. you can’t drain my life anymore by draining the color from it. your presence is everywhere, but your presence is gone. absence can define, but such a shattered self-perception can’t be cleaned up with only a single pairs of bruised and bleeding hands. i’ve had enough of enclosing the zipper from the hazel-stained, green dream scene on my lips to mute myself.

we survive by love, and today, there is so much love for every memory i’ve ever made. your departure is not my self worth. my departure with those who cared enough to stitch up my infected knees is my self worth. sitting in your Grand Prix before Elm talking about potential and wiping the blood off of blades. listening to Parachutes and smoking enough to forget everyone who ever hurt us. sunshine and werewolves. elevators and Aderall. Canada and Virginia. stone walls, long-distance calls, salvia that looked like fudge, dehydration in Williamsburg, the screen porch at Meadow, and choosing not to print out my suicide notes.

today we evolve because you do not define my evolution anymore. today we evolve because i have a voice that deserves to be heard. we all have stories that deserve to be heard. today we evolve because love will always be the stitches that any of our knees will require, infection or not. we will blossom, in darkness and in light, in color and in absence, in faith and in fear.

no matter how deep the planet decides to cave in, our hands will always be there to help pull you out.

and i’ll never need you for me to be absolutely certain of that
ever again
.

Remember, you are never alone,

and you will always be loved.

DK

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Poetry: Nightingale by RJ Bingham

Nightingale, oh, Nightingale,
Sing me your song.
You only visit me by moonlight,
When the stars are bright,
And nothing seems wrong.

Nightingale,
Why do you only visit me at night?
Am I not worthy of you in the day?
Do I only shine brightly enough for
You when I’m surrounded by my darkness?

Oh Nightingale;
Do you come for the light of the stars
Or to feed off my darkest thoughts?
I answer your call the only way I can,
By giving you everything that you demand.

Nightingale, oh, Nightingale,
Sing me your song.
There’s only a few hours left till dawn,
And then you’ll be gone from me for another night.
But I cherish my day dreams of you, they give me the
will to fight.


Nightingale was submitted by RJ Bingham. You can find him on both Twitter and Instagram to keep up with his thoughts. IMG_20151021_210650

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In Defense of Poetry: A Coping Mechanism

In Defense of Poetry: A Coping Mechanism
By Woody Woodger

1.) Midnight, Saturday February 6th, he let the cat out.  My other uncle’s cat, Alphonso. He was every inch a Persian.  The curtainy fur that looked painful when ungroomed, the kind of esthetic minutia that feels like a moral quandary.  His eyes were the same blue saved for the Mary’s dress in Ruben’s assumption and sour with crimped eyebrows.  Uncle Brad thinks his cats are his kids.  I’ve made what I feel is a fairly safe prediction: it will take approximately 3 years for Brad to get another.  With an additional 5 months for hemming-and-hawing, trying to find just the right replacement.

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Poetry: Dream/Nightmare by Zachary Johnson

I fell asleep into another place and time.
Somewhere in between where the strings align toward another galaxy.

Isn’t the idea of space and motion dimensional in your mind?
The cheddar craters of the moon are dense similar to the unconscious walls in this place.

Sideways in suggestion, the memories channel it all back.
I wasn’t sure if I would come back, or not.
In this zone I am immortal, premature youth, everlasting eternity.

Unity cherishes us entirely.

Elevate between perishable digressions.
Infinitely vague by others preliminary impressions.
I didn’t know where I belonged past these paper-thin sheets.
Travel its forsaken boundaries that separate our inception alike.

Maybe if I sat here Saturn would pass this by.
Setting fire to sleeping burdens in every constricted corner.

I woke up.

I could be drifting off again please excuse my thoughts.
They don’t seem to fit this occasioned equation.
Problems fate couldn’t tame through scattered lost change.

The things I wanted in life, were they obtainable?
I never intended to harm your sunburnt day, or your afternoon when
You thought about me constantly in my suffering of daily prisms.
The energy I had once left my body, unfamiliar to me now like the friends
Who never met at the local schoolyard, sharing the simple joys about life.

These emotions I carry should make me valid. But how you do prove what can’t be seen?
It’s not fair. I can’t establish the present, let alone the future.

I’m scared I can’t be fixed.

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This piece comes from my good friend Zachary Johnson. Zach is the photographer for our Consumed series and is currently working with me on the music video for Sabrina Kennedy’s single, “If Only”. Find him on Facebook here.

Always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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