I am not ashamed
That I have not known much intimacy
That I never had a hand that fit the curvature of my own
That I never had someone whisper my name
Like they owned it
In a way that sent hairs standing
And goosebumps on the back of my neck

Or at least I thought
You see I never knew their names until recently
I did not realize I got lost in them all along
That they are the ones who held my head in their laps
Who caught my tears
Even if they caused them
Who listened to my tiniest thoughts

I did not realize I had played Russian Roulette with depression
We skated across ice thin enough to see the current below
Shivers dancing across my shoulders
Danger leaning in
Their breath on the back of my neck
Almost exhilarating
As if you could feel the biting cold
At the thought of the tide

Our love was a circus
But I craved the adrenaline that came on the tightrope
They promised to catch me
But I knew all too well
Falling leads to something else completely

Even though the silver of sanity
Would send shocks of fear down my arms
The darkness seemed all too comforting

Soon I tired from running
From balancing on tightropes
From racing down ice before it cracked
From squeezing the trigger one more time
Find the darkness all too comforting

All anxiety left me
Is a sore jaw
Too easy to resist
Something that always left me craving more
Left me grasping for just one more bite
Another bite that stretched
The bounds of pain

We would spend nights staring at the sky
Neither able to sleep
Anxiety was all too good at reminiscing
Memories like stars
Too many to count
Creating swirling constellations
A whirlpool

I got lost the pools of thoughts
Submerged by ideas
I drown
Deeper than you could ever imagined

I fell all too quickly for panic attacks
The disillusionment I felt
Often took me days to come back from
As the things people named an attack
I found all too welcoming

It took the breath right out of me
Too stunned to speak at their appearance
It was as if my life depended on them

They welcomed me all too frequently
They were all consuming
All I could think of was them
And when they left
It was if I had fallen out of love

I spent my adolescence love lost in my own mind
Time cashed in on lonely memories
Because as with all infatuations
They faded

Things started to deteriorate all too quickly
My skin started to melt at the idea of them
I could not last

What I thought was intimacy
What I thought was love
All too quickly spelled out rot

Writer | Grace Escoe ’26 |
Editor | Jihyun Paik ’24 |
Artist | Evelyn Chi ’25 |