A girl last night told me that she felt like being happy was betraying her depression,
And I wonder if that was genuine or whether she’s addicted to the romance of sadness,
Courting and teasing and torturing her own serotonin.
Another girl I know said that it’s much easier to be sad,
you’re always prepared that way.
Wielding razor blades for protection from that insidious fiend joy that might creep into your skin,
always prepared to cut it out.
She asked me why life was worth living and I exploded drunk in my own skin.
My pores screamed of vitamin D ecstasy
and my lungs professed oxygen love.
I sucked on my hypocrite stick blowing out vapors of the twenty pills that she’d swallowed,
that she survived.
Who am I to give advice to teenagers from life?
Life – speak for yourself!
Prove to her you’re worth it and court her like a fool.
Stand at her window with a boom box and scream
‘CATLIN I LOVE YOUR WHITE-GIRL NAME!
I LOVE YOUR FAT AND YOUR ROSEBUD CHEEKS!
I LOVE YOUR SHAME, YOUR EXISTENTIAL CRISIS,
YOUR DESPERATE PARTY PLEA AND YOUR GANGLY DANCING!
FAIR CAITLIN I LOVE THEE!
PLEASE DON’T ASK ME TO LEAVE.’
Life clung to you, and to her.
It fought noose and blades and four hundred pills.
Life is trying to prove its worth.
So go sit in the sun,
go breathe nicotine free oxygen.
Life may have bruised you blue before,
but it is no abusive lover.
It is clumsy,
tripping over happenstance,
vague with its intention,
a causeless vandal burning deep with confused purpose.
It makes no sense but it’s begging you for questions,
and I’m begging you to ask them, Caitlin.
Delve, explore, relentlessly betray your depression.
Tie your bedsheets together and fling them out your window,
turn life’s boombox music up obnoxiously loud
and make out on the lawn right in front of your parents.
Life is a far greater romantic than sadness ever was.
Photograph by Komako Silver