If you have ever written a letter in Latin because only the dead can understand you, this is a story about you.
Literally speaking, however, this is a story about survival.
Figuratively speaking, this is a story about God hanging up on me in a doctor’s office when I was 7 and screening my calls for the next 20 years.
Dear God, are you there?
I’m sorry about what I said when I was drunk.
This is about three failed overdoses,
each time the medication cradled in my palm like I was Eve
with a handful of apple seeds
and no future,
debating how far is
This is about waking up the morning after trying to erase myself from the narrative,
the stale vomit blanketing my teeth,
the unspeakable headache,
the voice inside me that clamors for my destruction, my alarm
reminding me that I picked up a shift today
thinking I’d never have to show up
and I’m already late.
This is a story about picking up every time the Void comes a-calling.
After all, there are some songs that can only be sung from the wrong side of a guardrail.
Swan songs, tuned to the key of breakneck.
This is a story about a sound that only the desperate can hear and
if you know what I mean
by a dog whistle for the dying,
this is still
This is a story where the author switches the perspective so she can pretend she isn’t reading the lines carved on her heart-flap
with a butter knife
like a countdown to freedom
in front of total strangers.
Where the fight or flight response is
and clocking overtime,
the villain is always someone you love most,
and you don’t learn any of this until the middle of the book and you know you’ve completely lost the plot
because it’s 2 AM
and one tab has a google search open for
“HOW TO STAY ALIVE” in all caps
while the tab beside it is a Wikipedia page on how much pressure it takes
to create a diamond.
This is not a cautionary tale.
This is not a parable with a lesson at the end, and this is definitely not a story about solutions.
This is a story about Quasimodo ringing the bells of Notre Dame
because the noise fills the parts of him that don’t fit together quite right,
the statistical impossibility of living long enough to see the day
I told somebody all of this, about
the enormity of knowing I’m the only thing in the whole wide world that can kill me
and the power of deciding every single moment
that this is not the end of a story
Dear God, are you there?
I want you to know that I’m not waiting for you
to pick up the phone
Ananias may have bet against you but you,
you bet against me
and my bad teeth
and my busted knees
and I’m not bold enough to tell you you’re wrong
where other people can hear me,
I just wanna point out that I’m still here.
I’m still here.
I want you to know this
is only a story about survival
if you haven’t been paying attention.
I want you to know that I have done so much
more than survive.
I’m a bad penny, motherfucker,
and I will always turn up
whether you want to see my face or not.
Dear God, it doesn’t matter
if you’re there or not.
I couldn’t believe in you
so the only option left
was to believe in me.