what poetry has taught me.

I used to be afraid.

Afraid to feel

Afraid to cry.

It’s funny though,

I’ve never been afraid to die.

I used to keep my heart locked up in a coffin of chains

I threw all my thoughts away,

Threw away my brain.

I hated being home alone,

Didn’t want to die alone.

Didn’t want to slide that blade across my wrist and cry alone.

But I didn’t want to walk outside and enter the “I’m Fine” zone.

When my freshman english teacher handed me the book of the great poets,

I knew I felt something

I just didn’t know what it was.

They wrote of the pain I was feeling.

The things I didn’t know were possible to put into words.

I didn’t know anyone else in the world shared my hurt.

They also wrote of intense joy

Like the burning sensations you get when you’re alone with a boy.

They spoke of love in such a way

Talking about how one smile could make your day.

I never knew of such feelings.

I never knew these things could exist.

Reading all these words made it hard to resist.

I sat down one night when I was going through a lot

I wanted to end my life but decided I should not.

I pulled out my paper and my pen

Weapons that when I used,

I knew I would never hurt again.

The words spewed out like vomit

With all of my feelings out,

I knew I would never commit.

Poetry has taught me a lot

But not as much as the poets.

With the way they speak and the feelings they feel

They taught me that I’m the only one in this world that’s real.

Everyone is imaginary,

Afraid of themselves

Poetry and poets

Have taught me how to love myself.

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