barbara w CC
after Sarah Kay
The body has this instinct to live even when the mind has the instinct to die & It was June 15th &
a friend told me you might take it personally if I killed myself, so that night I texted you that if I
ever died it wouldn’t be your fault, because it wasn’t & still I tried to strangle myself & I didn’t
know yet that it never would have worked because the neural pathways will direct the hands to
stop, even though I didn’t want to stop & you didn’t know either & it was exam season & we
both should have been studying, but how could we study in the face of all of this pain & fear &
you never answered my text & you didn’t look me in the eye the next day when I showed up for
the exam & I mean, you hadn’t looked me in the eye in months & that didn’t make it hurt any
less & I only know you told your parents what I’d sent you & they told the school because, after
the exam, I got called to the guidance counsellor’s office & she called my family & she sent us to
the hospital & I texted you to thank you, even though I didn’t really mean it, because the body
has this instinct to live even when the mind has the instinct to die & I got sent home from the
hospital that night because I told the psychiatrist I didn’t want to kill myself anymore & I didn’t
mean it & I still don’t & we never spoke of it again.
This Is What Life Feels Like When You’re Not Depressed
I’m not saying I’m the ocean,
But the way this body
Can sway without a care for its surroundings
Makes me feel like the ocean.
The waves keep coming
And my legs keep moving,
Back and forth,
Back and forth,
And I let them.
I have always loved standing
Just deep enough in the ocean
That I am submerged from the shoulders down,
Letting the waves rock me gently.
This, though, is not gentle.
This is a vigorous need
To submerge this earth
In as much positive energy as possible.
I am not a ball,
But a current.
This energy will course through your veins
So fast they may burst-
An explosion of arteries.
Once, I wore an aorta as a ring
While one crush was across the room
And the other was dissecting the cow heart with me,
And it was the closest I have ever been to polyamory.
Not even polyamory feels
As the moment before your veins expand.
The moment before the waves crash against the shoreline,
When the waves are so tall
They can walk off the beach and into the workforce without even applying for the job,
That is the moment I am most vulnerable.
That is the moment the surfers may fall into my depths.
While they may mean well,
Their bones will break my spirits-
Make me crumple into myself-
Fall to the shores
Before I am ready to return home.
I tell my therapist I am seeing everything
In high definition,
As though I am wearing a new pair of glasses
And have not adjusted to the world yet.
The world is a vivid place,
Full of cars speeding down the highway,
And people who are hustling to get their lives in order.
I want to work alongside them.
I write out a list of tasks to do,
And I complete every item on the list.
I even have enough left in me to do something
That brings me even more positivity than I already possess.
My therapist tells me
This is what life is like when you’re not depressed.
Cameron Chiovitti is a twenty two year old nonbinary Canadian. They grew up in Montreal, Quebec, but moved to Toronto, Ontario, almost three years ago. They have been writing since the age of eight, but found their true passion, poetry, at the age of sixteen. They attend OCAD University for Creative Writing. Since moving to Toronto, Cameron started slamming with the Toronto Poetry Slam, Hamilton Youth Slam, and ranked sixth at the 2020 Voices Of Today Festival. In April 2018 they self-published a poetry book called “Your Mountain’s Crown,” and in January 2020 published a chapbook called “When People Ask About The Breakup” on She’s Got Wonder. Their poem “Drunken Ramblings of a Broken Heart” has been exhibited in mcsway poetry collective’s third edition of the Heartbreak Museum as of February 12th, 2021, and their poem “LaSalle Boulevard” has been published in LSTW’s fifth issue.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.