fuck your feelings, i’m dying
a redheaded girl in my writing class wrote on my memoir
“your writing is dramatic to a point of unrighteousness, all I see
is a melodramatic teenage girl trying to kill herself over nothing.”
in class, she accused me of lying about the events of my sad, pathetic life.
“The poeticism of your ‘tragedy’ is too neat to believe.
Real life isn’t actually like that.”
i hole-punched the critique into my large binder
bursting at the spine with pages upon pages
with criticisms from my shiny white classmates
and their crystal earrings and matte hydroflasks
their petty words written in slick, jet-black name brand ink
about how poorly i am at dying.
i took an $8 bus ride
in the bitter cold of december
snow veiling my eyes like the honeyed smog
of the Philippines i used to write so often about
in poetry. long before it became a gimmick
that PC liberal administrators jerked off to in an attempt
to diversify their image.
i walked into the CVS, nodded to the man
with a cigarette butt at the corner of his lips
salivating at the sight of my rosy frost bitten cheeks
making me look like a child.
5:50PM, and the pharmacist told me i came
just in time before close.
“we don’t have your prescriptions ready.
your doctor did not fill them.”
i clenched my fist, imagining a delicate neck
between my palm and fingers as i swallow
the river in my throat and squeak out the words,
“i don’t have any medicine left. i can’t go another day
without my medicine.”
he says there’s nothing i can do and i realized
i just lost $8 for nothing. i called a friend to pick me up.
i leave the pharmacy and the man with the cigarette
was still leaned against the brick wall. he clicked his tongue,
saluting my vain attempt to stay alive for once.
there is something so precious and so sweet
about reveling in the pain others hate me for.
about how many times i fantasized the crime scene
of my death and smearing the red blood back in your faces
suffocating your ignorance with a calloused, cynical
“i told you so.”
my friend opened the car door with a bullethole
underneath the handle and invited me in.
he asked me, with all his warmth and glory,
“how are you?”
i stared at him. and i began to laugh.
By Eryka Renata
Eryka Renata is a poet from the Chicagoland area. Dedicated to craft and the avant-garde, much of her work borders the experimental while maintaining the realism of everyday life. She believes in the complex combination of art and storytelling, wishing to amplify her voice to offer a unique lens in which she sees the world. Renata is also a student of psychology who dreams to spread a long breath of compassion and empathy wherever she goes.