the kisses of sunbeams on my face feel warm.
my heart is full,
so far from the ragtag, edgy organ that’s worn out from using
a year ago.
it’s patched up now,
got good memories to fill the emptiness that used to gnaw
like a vulture picking at my bones.
i’ve designed it in careful sutures too,
held together with hope.
i can feel it beating, you know,
i can hear its voice in what sounds like a singsong,
like a hummingbird flapping its wings in trebled joy,
like it can’t believe that today my life is music
when it used to be just a plain, deafening, static.
last year, at this date, i swallowed a handful of pills
that had me spinning in a haze of blackness for minutes
and living in a blur for days that came after.
i took them all down with a painted picture of me in my head —
a failure in the figure of a human,
silent in her casket.
last year, at this date, i took one step away from reality and recovery
and into the ledge,
rage playing too big of a role,
self-hate coursing through my veins.
i wanted to be gone,
be out of this world that broke me into a million pieces
no glue could ever put back together.
i clearly remember what happened that day.
in the delicate urban silence of the morning,
i reached into my wallet and plucked enough money and courage to go to the drugstore.
that same afternoon, i poured the drugs into my system and convinced myself
that we’re almost there, almost free,
just a few more brave steps to meet death.
today, however, everything is different.
i wake up in the light of january breeze,
my windows fogged with mist.
i open them and welcome the face of a brand new beginning.
i hear the earth call the wild in me.
i drink countless cups of creamy coffee
and read bukowski’s in the afternoon
and write lyric poetry as much as i can in my available hours.
i breathe in hope in a world polluted with smoke.
and i breathe out art in return.
my life’s not perfect,
and underneath my layers still resides vulnerability.
the girl who’s got her lips sewn into silence
and her heart in tattered sleeves
still lives under my skin.
but i’m still here,
and somehow i’ve managed to put the art of surviving into practice
and so far, it’s working.
to go through the ups and downs of three hundred sixty five days of unknown is not easy.
i’m still here,
just as i was,
a year ago.
but this time, i’m happy to be.
this time, i actually feel like living.
MacKenzie is a poet who struggles with her mental illnesses. She believes that writing is one way to escape the prison in her brain, and she mostly makes use of words to ink what she can’t say.