Caragh McErlean/Senior Staff

I miss being happy

But was I ever?

I can’t remember

Though I try to —

I really do —

I’ll ask you  —

But oh, you wouldn’t know

if I smiled so:

Was it ever real

Did I ever feel



Not just flashes

of joy that smashes

Through the dark part

Around my heart,

Not the blazing moment

When I’d hold it

Like sand in my fingers

(But it never lingers) …


I miss being happy,

But was I ever?

I can’t remember —

Though I try to.

Maybe I’ll ask you:

I think when I was young,

I would use this tongue

To draw silver linings

Around dull grey things.

Yes, the name they’d hurl

Was I, the silver linings girl.

And though I had no friend,

My happiness wouldn’t end.

But it did —

Now it’s gone, now it’s gone,

They came like a bomb,

No, not a bomb but an infection —

More a lethal injection!

of this serum that stole away

A little bit every day,

Until finally there was nothing left,

After this “happiness grand theft.”


I miss being happy,

I know I once was.

I’m asking you because

I can’t find it though I try.

I don’t want to cry

I’m terrified, so terrified.

My grave has now been sanctified

Dug and blessed and prepped for me

Do I even want to flee?

I’ve felt joy in flashes but it never stays,

Felt it in a jarring blaze,

But I need it, I need it in my chest

Because all the rest in this chest

Is naught but tar, I can attest,

That takes that light and glows

But then it only grows

And sucks that moment down.

Watch me as I drown

Within myself as my lungs fill

With this poison, oh, until

I suffocate silently here in bed,

Watching the sun set — instead

of living to die I’m dying from living

Nothing left of me for giving,




Who could that be?

Not me, Not me, can’t you see?

I forgot how it was to be carefree


I miss being happy.

I’m sure I once was

I’m telling you just because

You see me smile and you don’t think

This grin is just drawn on in ink.

You don’t know how hollow is this joy,

When all along it’s just a ploy,

How that smile quickly fades.

How the memory now cascades.

And I remember, yes, remember,

How in even late December,

In the winter I could cling

To this wondrous little thing.

To happiness that would spring

And I could feel like a king —

Eight. Yes eight, yes sir,

That is when I killed her

Silver linings girl, she drowned.

Her flying ship was downed

And ever since then I’ve been alone

in this wreckage I call my home


I miss being happy.

It’s certain: I once was.

I’m saying this only because

I’m drowning slowly and though I gasp

For bits of happy I cannot grasp

Onto anything long enough just to end

This sinking, crashing, falling trend.

My lungs are filling with smoke and I

Cannot see the sky

Never dreamed to fly

I just want to die



Forget me



Because I miss being happy

I … think I once was?

I’m reminding you of this because

If I decide another day,

That I will go another way

And you won’t see me anymore

But for a headstone on the floor,

Just know, just know I had once been,

Silver linings girl with a grin.

On her face that was actually real

And a happiness I could truly feel.

But I murdered her long ago

And now, only now, it starts to grow

And I want you to know

That when I go

I once was happy. I remember it.

Before my wrists I slit

And I fell in this pit

I dug it, I dug it

To bury her.


I miss being happy.

Was I ever?

I just … can’t remember.

Contact Olivia Staser at [email protected].

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