You are found guilty for your lies. Death Sentence From Truth is Punishment.
By Shayla Astudillo
As a teenager grows into adulthood they begin to understand the consequences of their words. They no longer have bliss, and the people around them continue to remind them of it.
There is ink on your hands: Words typically come easy to me. My hands usually aren't quick enough to capture all the words going through my head. That is not the case when it comes to you. Instead, I try to erase ink from my hands. Ink has spilled all over, my tears wet the page, and once again I'm throwing out another piece of paper. I try and try and try to take off the ink on my hands. But it resists. My hands become red from the scrubbing and the sink is overflowing. I slide down the wall next to the sink. My clothes are wet and clinging to my body. The ink is clear too clear for my liking. My hands shake at the knowing that I can’t get rid of your words and your pain on my hands. I thought writing would finally rid me of you. But now I am forced to consider the pain you have caused me over and over again. Please, please, please just stop. I scrub on my hands harder, why wont it hurry up and come off? Soon there's banging on the door of the bathroom. You're calling out my name. Over and over and over again. Please go away. I don't want it to be over. I thought writing stories, fairytales, and my little lies would help me stay longer with you. Or at least stop you from coming to say goodbye. But, you are ending it now why? I just want my fairytale please. Maybe it's all too strong, and maybe my words are far too much for you. I know my words are far too much for me, as usual. As, the ink on the paper is slick, gliding fluidly. The burden of what the ink resembles is anything but peace of mind. But, I didn’t know my fairytale was ending because of a person. I always thought it would end with age. Not my stories' so called hero. Honesty: I think my youth was never truly mine. Instead it was filled with yelling, insecurities, and ego. I wish it was mine. I look back at my youth as a persistent part of what is creating me. The yelling turned to fear of conflict. Their insecurities turned into mine. Their ego caused pure fear. I want to sit down at my desk with a cup of coffee, my vinyls playing, and my heart beating triumphantly. But, I can’t. Instead the coffee is antidepressants, the vinyl is the silence of your words, and my heart wishes to finally stop. As much as my words want to be painted beautifully with a fantasy of my youth. It can’t be. I am not a liar. W o r d s: Words are skeptical. They hold too much meaning to even begin to demonstrate how I feel. Each letter was a different part of myself. Each word was a brand new way of expression. It's simple and it's vague. I wish words and I never met. If words and I had never met then maybe I could have had a better chance. Maybe then their phrases wouldn’t affect me so much. Maybe then I wouldn’t need to defend myself. When words and I met, I ended that day. I was finally old enough for them to hurt. Old enough to take the pain. God, I wish words and I never met. Honest lies: I don’t like telling people what they want to hear. Of course I do for small civil conversations. But when it comes to myself, I hate it. Don't give me the side eye telling me to stop being truthful. I can be in pain. I am in pain. Why is that such a problem for you? Me being in pain is not something you can control. Stop telling me how to feel. I told people what they wanted to hear for years. And, I still do. I won't lie to you. But now, I don't do it from fear or to keep you happy. I do it because I know what is best for me. I guess that’s the difference between my younger self and who I am now. I don’t care that my pain is affecting you so much. I'm in pain, I'm dealing with it, so stop telling me to hide it. I won't hide myself to make you feel better about yourself. Stop Running Darling: Don’t be scared. I know my words are too much. My honesty can barely be taken seriously at times. That’s okay. I may run away from a lot of things. But not from my truth. And, neither should you from your own
When I first began writing this collection I was beginning to understand the death of my youth. I had conflicts with the people around me about who I was as a person or who I was becoming in their eyes. And, as I continued to write I realized that honesty and words were interconnected with the beginning of adulthood. These poems were initially with my submission for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. I bring this up since the poem limit for the submissions is what led me into separating the poems into two collections. The other collection turned into one about love and its death. But this one is about me finally coming to terms that I no longer need the acceptance from others. As, I am now reaching adulthood I am now my own voice, and my words make an impact. Throughout the collection my words are bitter to the idea of me stating the words I want to say. However, towards the end of the collection it turns into me taking into account that my words are my honesty. And, I tell the reader to do the same I did, not run away from their truth. No matter how terrifying it is.
Shayla Astudillo was born in New York City; at a year old they moved to Illinois. In Illinois, they found their love for the arts and multiple life lessons. Coming back to New York City was difficult, but they adapted. They are currently attending high school in Manhattan, NY with their friends. They have dealt with mental illness in their life, which is a strong factor in their writing. They continue their journey with optimism. Their life goal is to spread love to everyone they meet. They hope you can connect to their writing and find your safe place to call home.