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Poem by Emily (2011)

Real Monsters

by Emily C., published February 25, 2011

Big clock hands tell me to sleep.
I close my eyes.
I sigh.
I won’t lie.
It’s no use pretending
that rest will sow peace
on an ever-churning mind
that never stops its whispering
of prickle-pointed words
to fill a hungry hurt
that you know isn’t right.
No, no, not right.
But not wrong.
No, no, not wrong;

Wake up, starve, and repeat.
Mirror tell me,
when will I see myself winning?
I’m a psychological time bomb.
And the big clock hands just keep ticking
towards an inevitable disaster.

Someone awake me before I meet my fate.
Tell me I’m not really living this nightmare,
that the monsters under my head are just pretend
like the monsters that lived under my bed.
Tell me they’ll run away and forever hide
with the dawning break of a new sunrise.
Tell me I can escape this darkness
that drains the days of light
and depreciates my body to a soul
I do not recognize.
I want to rise again.
Feel that breathing, beating
zest of life.
Tell me, tell me I can still live
while I’m alive.

Silence is my dying scream
I’m wasting away, wasting away,
and no one can hear me.
There is no one I can befriend
except the monsters that live under my head.
Mother’s eyes cannot disguise
the unrequited prayers and sleepless reality
of losing her child and her sanctity.
Daddy’s stare lays bare the guilt.
And Sister goes to where she cannot see
the monstrous voices that become me.
Best Friend is scared to speak
of the sack lunch I never eat.
Teacher shows concern on her face.
I dodge her glances.
(Just keep getting A’s.)
Cute Boy has erased my memory;
No one wants to almost love a crazy.

Everyone sees my blue-tipped fingers and sagging jeans,
but no one judges with empathy.
I am not asking for isolation,
but insincere encounters
with pity-scathing eyes
won’t help me eat the pizza;
they only deepen my demise.
All I need is someone to believe
that within this stark vision of
protruding bones and swallowing clothes
are the stifled pleas of a girl,
once rosy-cheeked and twinkling,
a girl,
once fearlessly free,
a girl,
once in denial,
now trembling awake and in dreams,
caught in her reality,
finally tired of suffering.

Suffering because the monsters under her head
are the voices that echo, echo, echo, and control.
The monsters under her head
promise she’ll feel whole again.
(Wake up, starve, repeat.)
But she’s still waiting to be something.
Something that doesn’t feel like emptiness.
Emptiness that doesn’t taste like nothing.

Wake up, starve, repeat.
The monsters under my head aren’t a game of pretend.
No disappearing; I’m lost in hide-and-go-seek.
(Wake up, starve, repeat.)
These are what real monsters look like.
(Wake up, starve, repeat.)
And if silence is the only voice that breathes,
then they’ll come back.
(Repeat, repeat)
They’ll always come back to find me.

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