I never remember the first time; I can always recall the last.
Younger and younger, humans are finding weaponry in order to flee from this earth that was supposed to seatbelt us in. Is it not tight enough to save us from our selves?
This earth made a promise to keep us warm, to keep us cold, to keep us.
The humans are leaping off bridges and ledges and fire escapes. They are tying themselves away. They are flinging their organs into oceans and rivers. They are using bullets and powders and needles and starvation.
Have we run out of ways to scream help in the six thousand plus languages that exist?
I was fifteen. I was seventeen. I was nineteen. I was twenty-four. I was twenty-seven. I was thirty-four. There are band-aids and ointments. There are lovers that try to hold us in and there are medicines that try to numb us through. When I think about what has kept me here, I think of words:
father. poems. language. books. ink. the moon.
But it doesn’t always just go away. We cannot just ignore the statistics and death notices. We cannot blame it on just one thing. So, what is the solution and how can we strap on restorative capes and save the ones who dangle.
In the summertime, I would wear long sleeves. I felt too defined by the scars that scraped away the anonymity of my past. When I started pushing the fabric up past my elbows, the questions would arrive. Lovers would ask me where the scars came from. Strangers wanted to know my pattern of cutting. I felt sarcastic and angry; I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t want to give anyone the power of understanding me.
Now, I answer. Sometimes I do not even wait for the questions; I respond to the graze of others’ fingertips against the raised wounds. I unravel the importance of speaking. There is no shame in wanting to die when one replaces that want with a stronger attempt at remaining.
This earth keeps losing its humans to sadness. There are accidents and disease and contagion and diagnoses. It’s the ones who leave without notice that make me want to speak my story out as loud as I can.
We will never be without trauma, but we can travel toward a place within ourselves where translation pushes the grey into something less imprisoned.
How to create an epidemic of survival.