Poetry Self-Harm

moon reversed by Avi Lentz

the grim reaper’s hand spent years gripping my neck and I was grateful

because death brought me more comfort than being alive.

the prospect used to feel like home but now I understand I was being choked

trapped in a purgatory where heaven was sticking my head in a noose and hell was the inevitable aftermath where

my father stumbles across my cold, rotting corpse

hanging from the ceiling fan.

god, I hate visualizing it.

the last time I visited my psychiatrist he said I should be in a hospital

but I told him that I didn’t want to die and was therefore fine

and my mom let out a sigh of relief.

and I’m sorry for being unhappy but it’s hard to be anything else

when your parents passed down their sadness to you along with the blue eyes

and your body doesn’t match your soul.

and I’m sorry for the inconvenience but

maybe I should be in a hospital

and poked and prodded and handled like an animal

like a bomb that’s eager to go off.

maybe I would feel at home

surrounded by other kids with tired eyes rather than

a mother who drinks too much and

brothers I can no longer take care of.

maybe I would feel at home

surrounded by bombs.

maybe I would feel at home

surrounded by nothing.

Avi Lentz is a high school senior and poet from Atlanta, Georgia.