By Claire Giannosa
This poem tumbled out of me on a night when I felt lost and confused in my own mind. This is a compilation of my insecurities and social anxieties; I wanted to write this piece for anyone who needs a reminder that they are not alone.
I feel like I have lost my sense of place. I used to know where I stood—or at least where I wanted to stand, In terms of what I wanted to give to this earth— But every day it gets more and more unclear. More and more murky, Like a puddle of rain sitting on the New York City sidewalk for too long. Everything about myself, Used to be so easy. I don’t know, it was just that I understood myself. Like every day I would look into the bathroom mirror and say hi to the reflection. As if I knew that person, and accepted who they were supposed to be. But now, Now I face a distorted black mirror. With cracks and scratches like a big piece of marble. Something is rotting in my gut. I’m on the verge of throwing up, but then my body pushes it back inside. This moldy, rotting thing is growing in my stomach, the roots too thick and too strong for it to ever be pulled out. My face twists up like I used some strange photo booth filter. And I feel like I can’t do anything. My hands shake as I try to grab a pencil and a piece of paper, But nothing good comes out. My entire being, my entire existence, my only hope, Has dried out. Sucked out of me. And I’m floating in an eternal darkness, too cold for me to even be in the atmosphere. Too dark for it to be space because, where are all the stars? And—did I fall down a black hole? Because this is not where I’m supposed to be, I’m— A writer. I’m supposed to be a writer. But— What if that’s not good enough, what if I’m not good enough? What if I wake up one day, and My family is sitting rigid in the dining room chairs, fingers interlocked, all stiff, all cold. And my words are sitting on the table, crumpled up— “Weren’t you supposed to be the good writer?” And— How do I even respond to such a question? Such a violation of my soul that I want to crumple up just like the paper so I will never have to look at a blank page again— And— I’m sorry. That I’m so unaware, and so— Unexciting and not fun at all, and so, bland. I seem like the type of person who has got it all together, and doesn’t need help, and is too bothered with her own needs to help anyone… I’m sorry. That I don’t always say the right thing, or the necessary thing, And I stumble over my words, And I seem to freak out over everything, And I never fully say what I mean, And I have terrible advice, And never know what to say to comfort someone, All I know is that I want to be there for them. I want to hug them and let them know I’m there. I want to show myself. But I never show myself. I’m very good at hiding. So good— That I lose myself in the depths of my never-silencing thoughts, In the echo of my brain. That when I try to speak— Try to scrape out a word or a vowel from the hollowed out tunnels of my mind, I am nothing but an empty void, ringing with an eternal silence. And— How can I even be mad? When I look into the distorted black glass— All I can see is myself, The marble rolling over and over again in my crumbling hands, I am the enemy. I am the queen sitting on my high-backed throne— The black velvet and gleam of silver gems Signifying my viciousness, Like in a fairy tale. Like ancient history. What about my history? Her-story How am I supposed to go anywhere with a stone wall surrounding my heart? My brain? My thoughts? My words? As blank as the stone used to make it. But I keep chipping at it. Little by little, Stone by stone, Each and every day, With the hope that eventually, a speck of starlight will shine through.
Claire Giannosa is a young writer from NYC, who spends all of her free time lost in stories. Last year she started writing her very first novel, and hopes to one day share many more with the world. Outside of writing, she is an active board member of Model United Nations and enjoys engaging in international policy. She also spends time exploring the city, dancing with elementary school kids, and scribbling poems in a notebook.