Jada Yee’s poetry has appeared in The Paragon Journal, Literary Orphans, Underground Books and elsewhere.


Trigger Warning

I am the rolled washcloth that has dried into clay,
waiting to die at the bottom of the laundry basket.
I allow the worn coils in the mattress to burrow into my back.
My skull is lined with unhealed trenches.
Ribbons of hair have been exhumed and examined.
Unnatural moles and freckles climb over my shoulders.
I scratch at the ones that are still bleeding, hoping
to find a reason to stop or continue.

I need to find crowds of belligerent weeds,
so I can wrap my fingers around their wiry limbs,
choke and pull until my skin burns from their protest;
pull until I hear the knotted nerves snap.

I know that I could have been gentler;
the nearby flower didn’t deserve such an ambushed execution.
There are no roses at the core of depression.
Depression laughs and spits in the face of self-compassion.
Depression is haunting, conniving, and hateful.
Depression is always ready and will never hold back.

I know it’s strange that I choose
to go through my body to get to this pain,
but it is such a violent pain;
it deserves nothing less than that.

So, I try to safeguard something else;
I need to see the vivid souls of fallen leaves;
raise them up to the sun;
their wings stretching from their spines;
proudly crying out:

We Will Live On.

I hold on for this;
I hold on for the small beings who are
blooming, thriving, struggling and dying,
because, in every form, there are amazing,
little feats of beautiful strength to appreciate.
The elusive calmness sits beside me.

No, I am not a rose, but I know how to love one,
and it loves me back.

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