Mental Health / all

Poem by Tia King

VOX Teen Poetry: Auditory

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I named him sky, the golden boy
Skin bright, beams bouncing off my hippocampus
cold-hearted and hot-headed
So high my eyes turned red for him
Sky spoke of home like my frontal lobe ain’t his front door
like he is cramped in a space of endless possibility
always there, even when I wanted to be alone
When sky stopped talking time stopped
Sinking back into solitude.
Welcoming my sentence of life long isolation.

Shortly after,
I listened to the trembling baritone of a newcomer.
he was mine too.
nose broad
lips gargantuan
black enough to insinuate he was my dark side
I called him Antoine
my anger flowed into his hands
razors are how he showed me emotions are bloody and permanent
I drew the blood Antoine claimed as his.
my lips widened.
The scars make him smile for the first time.
Antoine thinks of home
his mama is worried.
She don’t know where he is
He don’t know where he is.
I don’t know how he got trapped in the confines of my skull.
I ain’t home.

Antoine became dormant
Abandoned the responsibilities of being my newest companion.
long enough for my eardrums to recognize the tone of an Italian New Yorker.
harsh tongued and apathetic.
He arrived in the wrinkles of my parietal lobe.
covered in tattoos and battle scars
the first to make my beliefs merely suggestions
I wonder how anyone fell in love with him
With the him inside of me.
Vinnie propped open my jaw like megaphone
Spoke and turned her into my first love.
unable to understand I was ventriloquist dummy and he was lovestruck puppet master.
She was Vinnie’s anyway.
But when she broke him
his heart break belonged to me.
I have not forgiven him.
I don’t believe he cares.

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The silence.
The arrival of my newest secret.
a smooth baritenor
soft-spoken, after his Ecuadorian mother.
resembles pine tree, after his Dominican father.
I named him Joey.
He is the reason I cannot feel.
Joey fell in love with Queen
Offered her to me in confidence
She promised to love him like she could see his almond eyes inside of mine
Tied a ribbon around their pinkies.
assured me I was safe with her.
Queen left when Joey told her about himself.
How the words falling from my lips were his
I, simply mouthpiece.
She couldn’t love what she didn’t understand.
Joey brought my best friend.
My only friend.
When she left he taught me not to feel.
Parts of him beg for Queen to be his gemini again.
All of me begs for her to be my gemini again.
I live through them living through me
A marionette with tangled snapped strings.
I can only sympathize with my own mind.
I feel nothing because they have the privilege of feeling everything.
I gave them names.
I gave them friendship.
I gave them control.
Besides, I’m the only one who can hear them.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call or text one of these resources!

Georgia Crisis & Access Line (GCAL) – 1-800-715-4225, available 24/7

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) also offers 24/7 connection with a trained counselor at a local crisis center, or Text “START” to 741-741

The Trevor Project – suicide prevention hotline for LGTBQ youth ages 13-24, Text “Trevor” to 202-304-1200 Thurs.-Fri. (4-8 p.m.) or call (866) 488-7386 – 24/7

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