When I Was 11 I Was A Hollow Girl By Kimberly Siehl

When I Was 11 I Was A Hollow Girl

When I was 11 I thought I had been here long enough.
The bags under my eyes drooped so low like a hammock that could hold a hundred people.
The cracks in my chapped lips looked like currents in the dead sea
opening like canyons when I tried to speak.
When I was 11
I cried more than I spoke
because words couldn’t say how
my bones felt like they were collapsing inside of me because my brain
stopped telling my body it was needed.
The tips of my fingers couldn’t feel the sunlight anymore
They only twitched at the thought of picking up the kitchen knife.
When I was 11
I would wake up
disappointed to hear my mother’s voice in the morning
because it meant I had woken up
and not stayed asleep.
I tried to read books and sing songs
but I was filled with minor keys and unwritten stories
that nobody cared to listen to.
When I was 11
The girls at school wondered why I was always absent
And boys asked why my eyes were always so puffy.
I would take a breath and swallow the words that tied a noose around my esophagus
And I would smile until they turned away.
When I was 11
My best friend was a doughy girl that always wanted to have sleepovers
And a woman who my parents paid $160 a week to listen to my silence.
I was a shell
a carcass
a layer of skin
trying to understand why some had warm bodies
and why I was cold to the touch.
When I turned 18 I realized that there was music inside of me
that couldn’t be silenced.
The bags under my eyes are from
staring at the stars at night
and the freckles on the cheeks of beautiful people that pass me on the street.
Sometimes I feel hollow inside
and forget how to get out of bed
but I want to be here now
and I want to plug the holes
that let the light escape for all these years.
When I was 11 I thought I had been here long enough
but I had only just begun.

By Kimberly Siehl


My name is Kimberly Siehl and I’m a 20 year old student at The College of New Jersey studying clinical psychology and spanish. I love writing, singing, dogs, and good food.

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