A Poem: Waking

my mother and father
drew roses
all over the house
the day I told them

I wanted my own funeral.

I downed a bottle of pills and gin,
forgetting that by leaving
I would be imprinting myself
in the very people who breathe

my name in prayer.

I stay awake now, listening
to the beats of my own heart
over a monitor.
My mother told me in the psych ward
in the days after I tried
to take my own life

that I am meant to live a long time,

and she smiled.
the life she dreams me to lead
reflects no more than in that smile,
and I am left
standing at the precipice
preparing to be taught to fly
during the fall knowing

I do not have an option.


I was born into a day,
screaming bloody love–
the kind that caressed me
sweaty cheeked and bare,
the kind that has never forgotten
my first steps,
the kind that wept harder than I did
when the girls at school called me names:

that is the kind of love

that is my story.
it is not written in the melodies
of trauma rehearsed by my veins
nights when I can’t sleep.
it is not in the pain I’ve held
wrapped around my fingernails
digging into the flesh.

it is the love,

the enormous, pure, powerful love,
and that is what
I return to.
I tried to take my own life.
I failed.

I woke up

never having known
my life as quite

the miracle it is.

it is the love
I return to.

Tags from the story
, , ,
More from Emma Sofen

A Poem: Say

eath has a certain allure, she says. she speaks of the swerve...
Read More