Portrait of an American Teenager

Copyright Leah

bright as the sun
her heart is
loving everyone
giving selflessly.
Model daughter, model student.

Forced away
from everything familiar
roughly shoved into
so scared.
Who will be her friend now?
Why doesn’t she talk?
Why is she crying, we buy her everything.
Get out of bed
self-pity isn’t allowed
smile, for chrissakes.
But clean your room first. You give me so much trouble
I give you everything except
I’m busy
I don’t have time right now
my legs are open too wide
go to someone else.
“People don’t like me”
“I hate my face”
What the hell is the matter with you?

Abuse me more
like the song says
‘cause I like it
can I get you this?
Would you like this?
Would you
could you like me?
I’m not bad.
It’s ok
I know it was an accident
it won’t happen again
just like the last time.
of accidents
so was I.

I’ll come.
Just for you.
I ignore what she says
she hates me
but your friends like me right?
That wasn’t snickering
I heard
behind my back.
It wasn’t ridicule
you want me here,
I know you do.

of anything real.
surrounding her
pain is too
Former loved ones
can she even feel?
“Heartless selfish bitch!”
is all that still reaches her ears.
everything ugly
in an attempt to
push away
dimpled thighs,
bulbous features,
tear-filled eyes,
mutilated skin,
a heart that’s split
even more than her hair.
The essence
of everything that the media says
a teenager
shouldn’t be,
but always is.
Black, black, black
darkness too suffocating
to see her own light.
Trusting once,
three times is the charm
that lifted the arm, with the hand
that reached for the knife
clutched it so tight
turning everything
upside down.
Pain was pleasure,
blood was soothing,
temporary bandage,
to wear like a badge.
Blackened lungs,
filled with
When was the last time
she had a meal?
Stony eyes,
carefully blank,
revealing nothing except
maybe here and there
a flicker
of a hate
that doesn’t even resemble
human emotion.
A stranger.

What can make a devil,
feel human again?
What can make
a bitterness
too strong to even be in the same room with,
taste sweet like honey
The same thing that will
but so predictably
turn it all around again
and make it
even worse than before.

I’m just a little girl…

Trusted Again, My Old Friend

Copyright, Leah

Today I was greeted by an old friend
He said a helping hand, he could lend
Foolish me trusted once more
And now things are as they were before
I thought that my friend had changed his ways
But now at his command my hand obeys
Addiction has now struck me down
And again my smile has turned to a frown
All because he said, “Hi there!”
Immediately I wanted to share
All the things that stressed me out
Came out of my head and flew about
He said that he would take the pain
And that I was one step from insane
So I decided to trust once more
And again at my wrist, the razor tore
Blood gushed out as relief came
But now my wrist looks the same
The same as only a month ago
How could I again, stoop so low?
Now I’m sure that trust is infantile
As up comes all of my past’s bile
The more that spurts out of my mind
The more places to cut I find
All this because I trusted again


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