Lessons on Self-Defense

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 21:50 -- VMarie

Why can I never find words on my tongue?

They lay curled up in my palms instead,

leaking into the ink of pens or

clutched in fists like painkillers or sleeping pills.


The voice in my head constructed

walls around me and dug a mile-wide moat

filled with salty, salty tears. Their claws reached

for me, their voices caressed my ears. But no,

because my heart is already an open wound.


The art of healing is a lot like the art of hoping,

yet we still build coffins, not bridges.


We fight with wooden swords,

and we love with paper hearts.

We give each other splinters and paper cuts,

watching the other bleed and pretend i’m fine, i’m fine.


A hurricane in a Coke bottle

Thunder words and lightning thoughts

Imprisoned inside glass that should have shattered.


The art of surviving is a lot like the art of lying dying lying,

so we paint our faces with frozen fingers and

swallow painkillers and sleeping pills.

i’m fine, i’m fine. i’m not, i’m not. i’m fine, i’m fine.


This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 



This poem was written for an intro creative writing class.

Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741