What The Dark Doesn't Show

Forgive me, 

but I have such a hard time believing that you're being sincere.

I feel my fingers rattling—

tapping other bones,

nervously checking my phone,

in an attempt to somehow separate myself from this conversation in fear. 


You seem genuinely concerned, and we could be anywhere…


But my mind is racing back, 

through all the christmases and birthdays passed

that you were never there for

and the child i was

who you never seemed to care for.


But I am the








The same one you left with a bus token.

Took to a bottle and another woman,

left so many words forever unspoken; and though I’ve taken my time—

I'd like to think that I've forgiven.


But you still have the same 




the same 




the same 




that makes my






And i want to get away from you every time you say my name 


I guess a small part of me still instinctively thinks you're out to get me.

My bags were packed the minute you set me free.



Now, I’ve been wearing armor for more than half my life—

cracked and dismantled by every 



Beaten down in the street by a childhood bully, who 




know my name. 


The bleeding wounds he left me with don't come close to the ones I gained 

from convincing myself that he's not the one to blame, 

that i am just so 




that i deserve to be 




to feel 




to feel my face grinding into the concrete—

his knees pushing harder and harder upon my back until I can barely breathe


and at thirteen


I wished my life would end. 

She's on the phone with the police again. 

I feel the familiarity of his feet kicking me in my shins— 

clotheslined by him and his friends on bikes 

while playing soccer in an abandoned field I used to love back then. 



Fast forward to about a decade later 

I'm still slightly uncomfortable in conversations about mental health

I still manage to let a sigh out


Don't get me wrong, most days I'm grateful I survived myself.

But some days, 




This is what the dark doesn't show,


what nobody really knows.


These are the words I wrote out on that crumpled up piece of paper

now hidden somewhere so far beneath the topsoil 

that it could never be discovered by another.

Because I needed to get this out, but 

I couldn’t bear for the truth to be uncovered.

Never felt safe in the spaces i far too often dwelled,

never felt comfortable in the skin surrounding myself.

And while that piece of paper may be long gone,


inside of me—



my story lives on.



Like a songbird who never truly sang;

Like the rain the crops needed, but that never came—

it has taken me entirely too long just to feel okay.

To look in the mirror, to look into these eyes placed so 


upon my face,

and not feel quite so


to meet their gaze. 


And with a deep breath, 

and a humble smile,

longingly, I tell myself—


I’m okay.

(At least for a little while.)













{While this may seem a bit off-topic for the subject matter of what poetry means to me, personally the best definition I could come up with was to show you. This piece is just a small taste of how empowering poetry and writing have been for me. This outlet has become such an integral part of recovery and something I value as a sort of therapy. The idea that I could put such heavy feelings into words and lift them off of my back- the feeling is indescribable. I think Rilke said it best in Letters To A Young Poet: “Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to write. This above all-ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must i write? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it.” — I hope you enjoyed this, or that it at least made you feel something. - whomever's eyes may land on it. Thank you.}

This poem is about: 



This is what the dark doesnt show.  All to familiar. Continue to write what you truly feel, it helps.

I recommend checking out Charles Bukowski "Bluebird"


Thank you so much for the encouragement! I love Bukowski. I believe it was him who said "Find what you love, and let it kill you." 


Thank you for writing the truth


Thank you for this thoughtful comment! Sometimes it's our truth that is the most painful to share. I read a quote recently "that which is most personal is most universal" - and it really made me think heavily about putting all of this out there. I tend to think that the hardest things to put into words, my heaviest and darkest material….I feel like it’s too much for others to bear and I worry about making people who are in similar dark places even more sad or depressed. I tend to think of my feelings as burdens upon other people, and I’m still learning that it’s okay to take up space and to have feelings. I’m starting to realize that maybe it has the potential to resonate with people, knowing that someone else is broken and yet surviving somehow. This is the first time I've been able to bring myself to share something like this, and even a little positive feedback truly means the world to me- so I thank you deeply. 

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