Alternate Forms of Self Harm – Anna Clark

Skip breakfast every day
Because it is more important
To paint yourself pretty.

Hold back your tears
So your peers cannot mock them.

Give the gift of your time,
              Your attention,
                            Your love,
To men who haven’t earned the privilege.

Show the masterpiece of your body–
The galaxy of your soul–
To those who just want to say they’ve touched;
To those who would prefer to claim a piece
Instead of behold the whole.

Fall in love

       Fall in love

              Fall in love

With rough hands
Emotionless eyes
Fighting for attention;
With someone who does not know the meaning of the word;
With finally not sleeping alone.

Fall in love.

Kiss them so they’ll text you back tomorrow

Fall in love

Take them back even when the apology is hollow

Fall in love

Tell them it’s okay to use you
               As a backup plan…

                             A second choice…

A status symbol…

              An achievement…

Let the world turn you cold.
Tell yourself you deserve it.

Look up your exes on Facebook,
And ignore the scars you named after them.
Ask yourself what you did wrong;
Tell yourself your behavior earned the bruises.

Listen to what they say;
Obsess over what they think;
Pretend to be what they expect.

Forget who you set out to be.

Anna Clark is studying English at Mississippi University for Women under such mentors as T.K. Lee and Michael Farris Smith. She also works alongside several talented peers such as CT Salazar who has been published many times. She has been published in both the Dilettanti and Burnt Pine Magazine.