The scars lined her wrist,
Both faded and new.
A small smile crossed her face
As though holding a secret only she knew.
Every movement graceful,
Every piece of her lovely.
I wanted to speak up but,
She didn’t even know me.
I wanted to ask for her story,
Wanted to ask her why.
Wanted to show her how similar they were,
How close her scars were to mine.
Yet I saw and said nothing
Staying seated in my chair.
Pretending not to know
Pretending they weren’t there.
For to acknowledge her pain,
I must admit to mine, and
I could not bear to show my hurt or
To reveal I’m anything but fine.
I opened my mouth to speak,
To tell her I felt the same.
Yet just as swiftly it fell shut,
The words stuck inside my brain.
I tugged my sleeves further over my hands,
Desperately hiding my wrists.
The words bottled up inside me
Even as my hands curled into fists.
Sadness danced within her eyes,
Swirling in every forced smile.
A word of mine could spark hope in her gaze
Yet still, there I stayed, silent all the while.
It hurt to watch her feel alone,
To watch her demons roil and twist.
It ached to know I could ease her loneliness
Simply by baring my wrist.
Now I compose and I write this
Trying to assuage my guilt.
As though these words could compensate
For the things I never tried to say,
And the girl I never helped.
Perhaps it is arrogant,
To say I knew what pain burned inside.
Perhaps it would only have made it worse,
Telling her of the bloody tears I've cried.
Yet the part that seems the worst to me
Is knowing I never tried.
I hate what my demons have done to me,
Giving rise to self-hatred and life to untold pain.
See, I hate them not for breaking me, but rather
For spurring a fear so great, I cannot help those who hurt the same.