Paul Sableman CC
The night I decided the universe would be better off without me in it
was the same night the universe decided it had other plans for where I ought to be.
When I crashed into that 16-inch wide oak tree on Hope Street,
the oak tree punched right back and said you’re not going anywhere fella.
Glued to the bucket seat of my SUV, I sat gutted by the fact that I was still very much alive.
Tears started to bubble in my eyes, my legs shuddering like the engine still running,
my lungs infusing with dust particles escaping from the deployed airbags,
the air as stale as outer space.
Neighbors left dinner cold on their tables to hold my hand and tell me,
“life is hard, honey, but we are all survivors of something.”
I thought maybe I wasn’t meant to take my life by my own hand —
I was meant to take my own hand in life. And be my own best friend
if I was ever going to survive that other more insidious thought —
that I was all alone in life. Because it’s true what they say about depression —
thoughts only feel like they’re real. But the real truth is that all alone
is never just all alone. There is always somebody that wants you here.
If it’s true that we are all survivors of something, then we cannot forget
that before we became the wreck, we were once the ship at sea.
And that if we are still here, we are still here for a reason and staying alive is our best bet
at finding out why and for the record, there isn’t a chance that I won’t still be here.
If I can be braver than what I write, then I might actually become
the hero of my own life. Because today, I saw a hole in the clouds
through which the late fall sun streaked through on my way home
from picking up my belongings at the tow yard.
I looked like just an ordinary guy walking home with his groceries
in the first snow flurry of the season. No one knew it was myself
I was carrying back home. But I left behind the softness of my body
and embraced the razor sharp edge of my own existence,
in order to find that sense of wholeness I’d been searching for,
my mind not strong enough until I gave it permission to heal
from being forgotten — erased. Until compassion for myself
became my own street sign guiding me home.
And even though home these days isn’t what it used to be,
I promise we can still make it warm. There may not have been
anybody there when you became the wreckage but there will always
be a hand to hold on your way back to being whole again.
Beck Anson (he/they) is a queer and trans emerging writer whose work is featured in Humana Obscura and Rattle and is forthcoming in RHINO. His poem “I Admit Myself to the Psych Ward in a Pandemic” was a finalist for the 2020 Rattle Poetry Prize. Beck writes to start a conversation — with others and with themselves — and to explore aspects of the human condition they cannot otherwise express through other forms. He has two degrees in botany but don’t ask him how to keep a houseplant alive. Follow him on Instagram @beckansonpoet and read more of their work at www.beckanson.com.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.