“I can imagine.”

Yes, I bet you can.

I bet you can use that tiny brain of yours.

with that little imagination you possess.

and create the most horrendous picture possible

of what it might look like

to stand in my shoes,

to live my life,

to be me.

I bet you can.

I bet you know all of the typical stories

because after awhile, the stories about


they all start to sound the same

and we become jaded,

thinking we’ve heard it all before,

before the person has a chance to say another word.

Maybe you’ve even read this poem before,

with different words,

prettier words,

more heartwrenching words.

And maybe once, they choked your apathy.

But only once.

Because you can’t let it affect you ever again.

I bet you can imagine.

So, I won’t go into detail because you already know all about me,

all about my story

because I am just another statistic

and you are another reader,

tsking and shaking your head because you can imagine

but you don’t understand.

You are anxious for a product, a result,

not the healing process,

not the time it takes,

and not the story it leads to.

It’s so formulaic,



Except it’s not.

Except that each person is different,

so each story is different,

but it seems like they don’t have enough originality in them

to be worth your while to listen to

and try to empathize with.

And instead, you brush it off because

if others have survived, I can, too.

And so the words of anger and pain and grief and horror and guilt and everything in between,

they go unsaid

because, after all,

“I can imagine.”

I bet you can,

but that’s all you’ll ever be able to do.


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