Content warning: self-harm, suicide
I always keep Band-Aids in my pockets
They cling onto my notebooks and fingers
As I dig around to find a hope
That some semblance of wholeness lingers.
I wear Band-Aids like jewelry across my wrists
To hide the real rubies traced beneath
And they grace my cheekbones and my chin
To hold together each little piece.
Because if you see me falter
After a word, you see me halt
I’m simply laying a Band-Aid
Across a newly forming fault.
A crack in my facade
My face a mask of adhesive tape
Each day it grows more hidden
By every attempt that I make
To hold myself together when I’m cracking ever still
They always called me a fighter but I’m just losing my will
My eyes are blackened and my nose it bleeds
From where I strike myself I need
Another Band-Aid to cover up the scars
That decorate my skin like stars.
Yes Band-Aids are my favorite thing
Like stickers for a child
Only instead of glitter and dinosaurs
They mask a happiness defiled
Perhaps less defiled and more broken
Perhaps less broken and more fading
Perhaps a little bit of both
Ever since my dreams had left me waiting
For the happiness I thought would come
From growing up to be
16, then 18, now 20 and
The truth is all I see
Is a kid in a tired body
A flickering soul behind a faded eye
That glows with mourning at the thought
That I once wished that I could fly.
And now that dreamy little girl
Has faded, cracked and split
I’ve lived full 20 years of life
And I just want to end it.
But I’ll stay quiet, stick around
Glue my life together with bandaids
Keep my head down, chin up, push hard
Focus on work and school and grades
Glitter, camouflage, superman Band-Aids
Collected in my pockets
The kind that came in multipacks
With dinosaurs and little space rockets
Now decorating my body
Tracing a history up my thighs
Of a life that broke my heart
And of a body that I despise.
But all this still I hold together
All this still I carry through
Maybe I can last a bit longer
With a fresh Band-Aid or two.
Contact Olivia Staser at [email protected].