PC: Amy Krencius
these bones hold me tight – cage me
in a skeleton foreign to this flesh,
and I don’t know how to speak to
flooded neurons and raw nerves
the warbled words of my hazy reality
might soften into something – intelligible,
I can’t translate
I can’t shake off the backs
of my eyelids,
the ruins burned in
my brain, the language
I think I spoke
once but can’t seem to grasp again –
do you know what it’s like to misunderstand your own head?
to lose the mother-tongue of your body --
I am broken words and fractured sentences
and I don’t know how to carry a conversation
with my own thoughts.
This is Not Breaking
This is not breaking;
this cracked-heart feeling,
this head heavy eyes low empty chest -
these fine-line bones,
This is not what broken feels like.
I am not porcelain doll shattered pieces on
the floor waiting to be scrounged up by
frantic hands, to be stuck back
together; I am not jigsaw puzzle
complicated, a perfect picture on a box to
replicate with ragged fissures left on a
coffee table, to sit while you hum and hah
and think on it. I am not something to
think on. I am not something to make
or unmake. To fix.
I am not breaking,
I am building a life story out of scars,
I am weaving a tapestry of all the tears I
never let fall, and the ones I did but you
didn’t see, and the ones you heard
through bathroom walls and shower head
I will pour gold in these cracks,
and maybe it will blind you and you’ll
thinking about how beautifully broken I
because broken is not beautiful,
and there is only one b-adjective
to describe all that I am.
About the Author - Lexi Vranick
Lexi is a Long Island-based poet and fiction author with three self-published books under her belt. Her work has previously appeared in the Fly on the Wall Poetry Press mental health anthology Please Hear What I'm Not Saying and has been featured in the journal Cagibi. In addition, she holds a BA in Literature from Excelsior College, where she completed her senior thesis on cultural portrayals of mental health in literature.
She is an outspoken advocate for mental health and mental illness awareness and do my best to use my work to start a conversation with the hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Her first self-published collection of poetry, Ready Aim Fire, was inspired by her own struggles with major depressive disorder and the title piece of her first self-published collection of short fiction, Basket Case, was written about her experience living with generalized anxiety disorder.