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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

A queer high school romance.

Everything was so beyond wrong

We still don’t know if we’ll ever set it right

But we were young and wild and free

And once in a while we felt that old spark,

The one that said the best is yet to come-

If Depression conducted traffic

The way it controls most other things

People wouldn’t judge my driving nearly as much

You see, it’s not me. It’s Depression.

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

But I can’t use that as a valid excuse-

Honestly Officer, I didn’t do anything,

Depression was behind the wheel all along.

Depression is a teenage cry for attention,

Not a diagnosis that garners sympathy casseroles

Even though I didn’t eat last weekend

Cause I couldn’t get out of bed for the life of me.

If Depression managed medication

With all the strict precision with which

It regulates chocolate cravings maybe

My body wouldn’t…

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Photo by Amarnath Tade on Unsplash

I see you in dated Polaroid frames chasing after a new girl,

Younger than me and prettier than me, her eyes sparkle

And thanks to you, mine carry the weight of a soul’s death

Her smile screams I have nothing at all to be insecure about,

Not a worry plaguing my heart- you’ve yet to snatch from her

All the happiness, the hope, and whatever else you stole from me

A blink of an eye later, it’s like you never waltzed through my door

So right now I’m sitting all by myself just like I always wanted

But I still…

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Photo by William Krause on Unsplash

With the grace of a queen

My mother lowers her creaking body

Into the same old wooden throne

At the same old kitchen table

Just a second later she sighs,

Breathes heartbreak the color of the ocean

But somehow it fades to gray

Invisible tears fall on unforgiving cement.

With a hand resting over her stomach

She hovers as always, the best of mother’s do

She breathes in the lilacs, violet, lavender

When promised herself the cancer wouldn’t win

She didn’t anticipate victory taking so much of her

This precious thing no longer a part of her

Out of use…

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Long nights I spent with forever at my feet

And the knocker at my fingertips

I couldn’t close the distance, I was too scared

Of your door. I know you never want to see me again,

And I’m alright with that, I swear I am.

Sometimes when I think of you, I recall

Every second with you was me begging

For what you were never willing to give.

And I’m finished with it. So forget me,

Forget the promises I made to you,

I will not spend the rest of my life

Searching every pair of eyes in the room

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

I was bleeding out, a crimson stain on a cream carpet

With a hand under my sweater you kissed it better

And still, you looked at me like I was precious.

At that moment, all I could think was, “I’m done for.”

Because to love someone is never a safe endeavor

And I don’t do well with those risks that take all of me.

I thought I knew you well enough, I guess you never know,

I guess when you open your soul like a canvas waiting

For another person to paint in new colors- it shows.

If I believed…

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Photo by Abbas Tehrani on Unsplash

When I showed you the place

Where I became a paper doll

I never expected you to

Become an eraser just for me

I didn’t think healing was possible,

I thought scars were evergreen

Because love certainly doesn’t

Drive the long haul for girls like me

But here you are after 1000 years

For some reason still right here

If ever left me I don’t think I’d mend

But I heal all over again

Every time you give me that smile.

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Photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

Here is a poem I wrote in response to re-reading The Hate U Give after the murders of George Flloyd and Breonna Taylor sparked national protests. Before I wrote it, I reflected on how the BLM movement has evolved greatly and spread to include a much broader base and combine social media activisim with real life work in the past few years (since Angie Thomas published the book) but the situation has not changed very much at all. I then included historical references in my poem such as the 3/5ths Compromise and the 13th Amendment (side note: if you haven’t…

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Photo by Caleb Stokes on Unsplash

A million diamond icicles cascade to the ground.

In a final moment to enjoy their faded glory,

They vanish into the breathless grace

And I am left to watch them die.

In the cold, I feel so alone.

Tonight is a cloth made of midnight velvet,

And in spite of myself, I let it remind me

Why I came to love this place so much.

The story of a body, who it belongs to, and who dictates its uses. Your first (unofficial) preview of a much longer story, this is the beginning trimmed down to 1,800 words.

Out of the blue on a lazy Saturday, a call reaches her and a friend convinces her to swing by her cousin’s house cause it’ll be fun. So, later on, Aubrey DeGuinn lays down her reluctance and goes to hang out with the people her world revolved around when she was a full-time student. Her friends hug her warmly when she walks in the door but then the…

Brianna R Duffin

I write poetry, prose, and personal pieces. All images are mine unless indicated otherwise. Feel free to leave feedback on my work anytime; I hope you enjoy.

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