Self Harm

It’s not just the emos with their razors.

It’s the middle school kids

At the top of the bleachers

Playing that stupid game Bloody Knuckles.

Asking the kids around for anything hard or sharp;

One brought in a rock;

One uses the brick wall,

Bloodies the spot below the school mascot.

The soon-to-be drug addicts,

And everyone knows it.


It’s the kids in the hallway

That teachers warn about.

Not the kids themselves,

But the trend—

Hand sanitizer and an eraser:

Burns and tears up the skin.

They think they’re cool,

The same ones that played Bloody Knuckles that morning.

The girl in class proudly tells the teacher

That someone asked her for hand sanitizer

And she refused them.


It’s the Ice Cube Challenge

That took the world by storm.

Some still bear the scars

Of ice and salt,

The same things

That tend to lead emos to the knife.

The idiots,

Susceptible to peer pressure.

The ones playing Bloody Knuckles on the bleachers

That didn’t turn to drugs.


And what is an emo, exactly?

A pussy,

A weakling,

A feminine male, taking a razor to his wrist?

That’s what they say it is,

The kids on the bleachers.

I think the emos

And the kids in the hallway,

Or on the bleachers,

Or on YouTube filming a challenge,

Are similar.

They all take to the pain by choice,

But who,


Among them has a reason?

Who’s to say that the kids on the bleachers

Have as much of a reason as the “emos,”

But friends to join in?

Is that what makes the difference?

This poem is about: 
My community


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