on the count of six(teen) – a poem

remember that one time when i wrote about my sixteenth suicide attempt?

i’m still not coping with it very well, so i wrote a poem about it. it was a pretty serious attempt, landing me in icu after all. and i’m trying so fucking hard to fight against my head but sometimes it just gets so loud and the thoughts will only stop once i act on them.

pretty heavy trigger warning on this one guys. i would say ‘enjoy’ but it’s probably not the kind of poem you would enjoy. i hope it helps you heal as writing it helped me heal


with a backing track

of panic attacks,

the most pitiful playlist,

i swallow supposed death,

washed back with a bottle of vodka.

i fall asleep to serenading

waves on the beach;

dying feels like going home.

strangely, beneath the stars

i feel less alone

even though they represent

only myths, i suppose.

then waking in intensive care

waking into horror

writhing in restraints

while watched by two cops

ready with their handcuffs

ready for when i run

with my rights stripped away.

every time i wake i see her face.

i wish i were a shooting star not

starfished at the ankles and wrists

spread apart to remind me of

the men who spread my legs

then left me with the mess.

soon startled into being

at the hiss of velcro loosening

i throw my fist toward my face

before my veins are flooded

with syringed sleep

with a shot of compliance.

the next time i wake

there are three cops

no, four

watching closely on the tips

of their regulation boots,

on the edge of their seats.

it will take five sets of hands

to hold me down this time.

they say i am hurting them

but surely i am hurting more

since i keep finding myself waking

into the same

fucking nightmare.

sisters – a poem

me and my sister never really got along. but we were civil enough until something happened that just fucked with my head a little too much. she didn’t ask me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. and i was just really fucking hoping that she would use it as an opportunity to repair our relationship, because i had been working on myself a lot, and i had tried to be a better sister, but no. i can’t forgive her. since then, we basically haven’t spoken at all. it was really getting to me last night, and i cut a bit, but i also wrote a really angry poem about it. i don’t really know what to call it yet. some mix-up of the typical sayings about sisters. like instead of “sisters are flowers from the same garden” maybe like “two weeds from different plots” or something, i dunno. anyway, yay, a poem. i also intend to perform this one so if i can figure out how to upload a recording you might actually get to hear me read my poetry… but only if you don’t judge my bogan west aussie accent.


it was supposed to be the done thing

the sisterly thing

the siblings walking side by side sort of thing

the playing princesses in old bridesmaid’s dresses

acting like we actually got along sort of thing.

i had already picked a perfect gown

the burnt orange one

the one the colour of rust spots

or our collection of stolen ochre rocks.

C the synesthete had always said

my voice was rust coloured

so for once the inside of my head

would pair well with how i acted instead.

everything i know i learned from books

but books could never teach me

how to be a good sister,

they taught me only stigma.

they taught me to be ashamed of myself

so when you repeated the words

on that glossy white cover

the dangerous strokes of scarlet

warning of the lies

that would soon smother

my story into a smaller size

when you told me that it sounded just like me

and then i fucking evaporated

you never could quite connect the dots.

you never could quite remember things

the way that i could, the way that you should.

well K, i have a long fucking memory

and here are some of the things i remember.

after i got that detention

you mocked me for my bravery

without daring to ask

why i had needed saving

after you saw my scars

you stopped speaking to me

as if my shameful past

stopped our future trajectory

after buying a house in which

to start your family

you neglected to tell me

probably because you thought

i would be a shitty aunty.

well here’s the final touch

the cherry on top

that will seal away our sisterhood:

i will never remember your wedding.

and that’s probably because

i won’t

fucking

be there.

bright girl, dull future

i used to be the girl who everybody talked about owning the world. the one who would be the boss of all her bullies one day. the girl who could be anything she wanted, with all the opportunities life could afford her. she could be a doctor, a vet, a physiotherapist, a surgeon, an astrophysicist, a chemist, a writer, an actress, a make-up artist, a painter… anything.

the world was my oyster, but the pearl never formed.

i think maybe, that the constant, relentless weight of expectation contributes more to my mental health than people may perhaps realise. it’s the sense of relief from receiving a high distinction, before realising that people will only ever focus on the 3% of mistakes, not the 97% of knowledge. i love learning. i love studying. i kinda even love exams, in a very nerdy way. but i despise the comparative competition.

it hurts.

for the 97% of my life to be ignored, and the 3% ostracised over and over again.

lately, i’ve given up on things. i still study, because who would i be if i wasn’t studying, but i no longer give a fuck about that 3%. it could be 50% for all i care. because i can be fucking anything. the world is my oyster and if it hasn’t formed yet then i will damn well force it to solidify.

i can sense the disappointment in the air. as if the bright girl has discarded her future for writing poetry, and body art, and self harm.

they think my future is dull but i don’t care. i have seen and done things in my short twenty years that most people will never experience in a lifetime (thankfully). i have been ridiculed, i have been restrained, and hospitalised against my will, and attempted suicide ten times, and am having a relapse with my casual love of self harm. and i’m trying to convince everyone that i’m struggling.

but all they see is the dull future. they refuse to see the bright girl down there. they would rather be disappointed than intervene. i have survived, and i am surviving, and i am slowly learning how to live and if that doesn’t make my future seem fucking bright then i don’t know if anything will.


This was supposed to be a city

synonymous with starting over.

Somewhere to reinvent myself

with ink and piercings and an undercut,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

would use to dull her future.

Not only did I remake myself,

I redesigned my body,

ploughing furrows over

the fertile flesh of thighs,

burning crop circles

into flammable forearms

and transforming wrists

into rivers and rivulets

running scarlet.

This was supposed to be a city

of embrace, of exploring

the beautiful brutality of being.

Somewhere to learn

that worth is not earned

with grades and blades

and perfection hunting,

with the kinds of things a bright girl

like me relies on to build her future.