Categories > Original > Poetry2 Reviews
Somebody once asked me why I wanted to be a doctor.
with the skin off
every version of naked in the dictionary and beyond
I think of how fragile people are.
Every link between every bone in a chink in the armor, so
how the hell did we survive?
How did we become the biggest species, considering we are nothing but porcelain
encased in plastiscene?
When I was a kid, I did not know what I wanted to do with myself.
I wanted to adventure. I wanted to be a pirate.
When I found out that being a pirate/dragon slayer was not a viable career choice,
shocked does not even begin to cover it.
But I grew up and out of it like a rebellious flower,
something I, Eliza, am good at.
But when my body betrayed me and made me feel that it was more important than my mind,
that what I could do was more important than what I could think,
that I did not like being a flower.
And I tried to cut away the leaves and turn myself into a stick,
tried to cut myself down to something that I wasn’t.
And it killed me. Choked me.
Trying to replace love with unholy pesticide is not recommended by your family doctor.
Or by me.
And when the chemicals and weed whackers stopped spinning I turned this poison onto others,
because watching them choke was easier than doing it to myself.
But rebellious little flower that I am,
I grew out of that too.
Grew too tall for silver blades,
Sprouted a resistance to this poison.
And grew too tall to see the people that I had hurt.
Beanstalk Eliza did not give a shit.
And she made new friends.
But within myself, I always wondered what made humans work,
and the first time I saw a butterfly pinned to a corkboard in grade eleven
made me smile.
And out of sympathy, Beanstalk Eliza watered the dead plants at the back of the biology classroom.
In hopes that they would get better
despite them being already dead.
But the idea of nursing another
back to health had never appealed to me.
Weakness in others is sickening.
And it’s your bloody vomit, you deal with it.
I’ve got my own demons to exorcise without
having to fend off yours.
Until I noticed that there was somebody online
who called for help.
Just a small yelp. A pathetic SOS.
From choking on the same poison that I had self-administered.
And I did not see them as somebody else.
I saw them as fat and too tall and who always wore camp shirts.
And their vomit was a symptom of an O.D.
Something self-inflicted. Something nasty.
And their demons were far worse than mine were at that time.
So I told them no.
That there was something bigger. Something infinitely more beautiful waiting for them.
That nobody should try to kill themselves at twelve.
But my voice and advice was overcome by others around me who begged that girl
to stay for a little while longer.
And I thought that my words didn’t matter.
Because there would always be somebody else to catch.
And I opened a book and learned about where the Parietal Bone is,
where the Lambdoid suture crosses,
and how far the Frontal Bone goes.
And that kept me breathing.
I counted vertebrae in the spinal cord and
I counted how many other called for help
but nobody ever seemed to want my help.
And I tried to pretend I was cool with that.
One night I saw a video of a boy just like the others.
The Yelpers. The ones who called for help.
Trevor was sad. A chubby boy alone in his basement
with lips like a girl and the nicest eyes I had ever seen.
Somewhat self-conscious after shaving off half an eyebrow.
And he listened to a poem.
And he filmed himself.
The poem itself was more poison.
And the taste was too familiar, enough
to reduce me to tears at the memory
of sharp little bites
both to me and to people who mattered.
Trevor knew the taste of the poison too.
But he didn’t cry. Stronger than me, certainly.
But I watched his face. And all I could see was the tears
that ran silently to be wiped away with a kleenex.
And I watched his jaw shake
at the mention of suicide.
And when told to get a better mirror
if he can’t find something worth loving,
Trevor started crying.
And then the words ended.
And all you could hear was Trevor.
Alone. And sad.
And I was tired of hearing people cry.
My own tears.
The tears of the Yelpers.
And I was sick to my stomach hearing Trevor cry.
I can not hold all this sadness.
So I picked up a book
and learned all the bones in the skull.
And I can find the iliac crest of the hips.
And I’m learning the tendons in a wrist.
Because I am sick of hearing people suffer alone.
I do not want people to feel
as I have felt.
And I don’t want them to do it alone.
I will massacre aquatic life
and I will learn the bones
and the muscles
and the organs that make a person
weak and strong.
My own demons are not as powerful as the ones of others.
And I can quiet them by getting the scrubs.
Making sure that nobody has to go this alone.