Voicemail: 11:08pm (2nd Place)

I promise-

I’m fine

I am, I’ll do my laundry and stay on top of my homework,

I won’t waste everything you’ve-I mean- I -have worked for,

And I am ready

for this next chapter of my life- I mean-

Not a chapter that I wrote for myself but rather

A choose your own adventure that you turned to page 247 of,

Breaking the spine and wrinkling the thick paper cover,

But don’t worry, I’ll be good, I won’t worry about silly

Trivial things like having to slip away every morning to take

Medication that i didn’t ask for and have been taught to feel

Ashamed of and broken as a human for needing, and

mother, don’t concern yourself with the suffocating haze

I will claw through

Every day when I must pretend to be sure of myself

even though the last time you sent me away I was dying and you were scared

now you’re sending me away because I’m just starting to live

and it’s scaring me too,


I haven’t gone a day without squeezing my heart to let the blood

water the garden of your expectations full of trees I can’t climb, bushes I can’t jump,

I haven’t gone a day without crushing these white petals

Into tea to soothe your aching, outstretched hands, your pounding brain, your burning wallet,

I haven’t gone a day without climbing this vine of thorns

To pretend like I belong with these children of diplomats and CEOs and


I am lost and I only time I feel found is

When I’m ignoring the wolves in my belly, screaming to be fed,

But my mind is screaming too,

and I keep sinking and these words are nothing but bubbles

wasting my last breaths

and I just don’t know how to surface without drowning us all.