A poem about the effects of isolation during lockdown on a young person's mental health.
Tzipporah (not her real name)
A 22 year old creative from South London
Who reads Morse code? … --- …
I’ve been treading water for so long,
I think, I’ve I forgotten how to swim.
So, when life becomes sea
I embody, drowning.
Fighting waves that can’t be seen.
Saltwater fills my lungs
As I try to keep abreast,
Eyes blinking in Morse code,
signaling distress.They ask me how I am
And I regurgitate slogans like
I “Just do it”
Bout to “Have a break have a Kit Kat”
Concealing the night, behind a white smile
I say “I’m good”
“I’m - on - top - of - the - world”
And I repeat and repeat
Until I believe it myself,
And can say it comfortably.
Need four hugs a day
Is the only thing that holds me.So,
I smoke the green,
when I’m feeling blue.
High on cold nights, finding cover beneath analogies,
Coming loose at the seams,
But never seem to get across what I really mean.
Cold nights, when you just need a spooning.
A hotboxed car, to blaze old tunes in.
When the lights turn low,
and the minds in need of soothing.
Lost in the game of smoke and mirrors,
With additions of liquor.
At the bottom of the bottle,
residue of the word sinner.One day
Hands pressed together,
“Please God just…
give me a sign.
I know you’re there,
I never ask this of you,
But today, I just
can’t stop crying.
I swear I’ll never ask for another one
It’s just, I’ve lived in monochrome for too long
And forgotten the colour of the sun.
I’m not sure where my purpose lies.
I know I’ve not been a good servant.
I know I’ve not been complying.
I hear the walls whisper in the night,
they say I’m not worth the trouble,
they say failures a crime.”
I think about what they discuss behind my back, and with whom.
What other slurs I’ve been assigned
If the drapes get in on it too?
Then I realise…
They’re just echoing the thoughts harboured in my mind.How can it be, that the monster beneath your bed,
Is kinder to you, than the conversation in your head?
My hearts in need of compressions and I yearn deeply to ascend,
But I’ve seen people do hellish things, to try to get to heaven.So, I fashion myself into a kintsugi bowl.
Scars bound with liquid gold.
In the sun, shattered glass glitters,
So, I guess I bare a glittered soul.
Hands cut trying to find peace in my broken pieces,
Creating something new, from the reworking of the old.I’m not good at goodbyes though,
I savour them in my mouth
and let them create cavities
In my teeth.
But someone has to die, to turn the prince into a king
This version of me, must perish
so that a future me
can live.***Morse code: A method used to encode text comprised of dots and dashes
***Kintsugi: The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum. Presenting the idea of beautiful scars. Thus, creating a stronger, more beautiful and unique piece of art. This practice, for many, being a physical representation of how we should view ourselves; sentient beings, refined through suffering.
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