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Decisions, Decisions, By: Anna Boghina

I think I’m going to take a shower, I say

Eyes peering into my finished plate as I dissect

Food smearing my reflection the longer I stay

Yet I wait patiently for my mother’s verdict

It’s 9 o’clock at night, isn’t it kind of late?

She says focusing on making the kitchen perfect

Don't you think you can wait till we’re in a better state?

I can feel it now,

Pressure, or is it fear, building in my chest.

As always I have no reason why, nor explanation

The words flying out without my request.

Both keenly aware a step out of line could make us unstable.

Please, I beg

I already finished my homework at your behest

She sighs and grants me leave from the table.

The washroom becomes a temple

My ritual beginning as I step through it’s gate

Steam helping me shed the weight of my years slow and gentle

Bare and fragile, I step into the burning water sealing my fate

The first streams of water cover my face

The closest thing I can get to salvation

As I begin to fall through the rivers of time and space

I am met with my personal museum of revelation

My collections of memories as comforting as winter’s embrace

Tonight’s selection a robust red 92 on an evaluation

Followed up by a sense of failure & disgrace

To cleanse the palate of a need for self recreation

Blinking my eyes open the sound of rushing water returns

And I find myself envious of the blissfully white tile

Her soul pure and without anything she sinfully yearns

Caramel scented incense baptizes me, scrubbing at my choices while

Stepping under the wet fire I find myself back in for analysis

Menu calling for a smooth glass of hatred in my schoolmates’ gaze

My scene goes from yard to church service with “godly” people, yet I felt their malice

The whispered truth turned rumor by betrayal drains the color out of my days

Caramel transforms to myrrh, it’s righteous flame seeming callus

I stand for hours, knees shaking, joints cracking, mind in a haze

As I kneel down in front of the icons all I feel is paralysis

And I know that my sin, written in stone, will follow me even if Him I praised

In an attempt to repent I christen my scalp with floral lotion

Salty tears fall with a sting as I serve my penance

I turn the valve further to the right finding comfort in the familiar motion

As I collect the fallen strands of hair I ponder past actions though I never find any sense

As I enter the deluge, hearing the siren call of one last course I cannot resist

For dessert a fine option indeed, a bonbon of dark circles and evasion

With fine notes of wallflower and a wonder if I even exist

I run through abandoned halls of my mind no defense against this invasion

The monsters running after me have no real form yet they persist

Closets full of sleepless nights imploring me to let monsters win with all their persuasion

Turning a corner I meet one of their gazes as I see my own hand wrap around my wrist

Rubies gem stream freeing me from the chase through my hand made abrasions

The spout of forgiveness runs dry as I turn off the tap.

Cool air hits me as I wrap myself in linens, the rites tiring my body and soul.

Hearing a call from the bedrooms, I cauterize my wounds with a hairdryer.

I was such a difficult child to console.

Infected tissue removed, all must be put in its place.

Left drawers for hair items, right for the scissors

Toothbrush, hair ties, and Mother Mary full of grace.

My mirror reflects back the image of a sinner.

Heart pounding in my head, sounding off as a shot

Opening the door I take one last glance inward.

I always miss a spot.

Please give a detailed explanation about the meaning and main idea of this poem.

The main idea of this poem explores the concept of overthinking and anxiety especially about your past choices. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, after a long day when you're finally by yourself, the whole process of retreating within yourself feels inevitable, and I wanted to express that through poetry.

Please explain your writing and thought process regarding this poem.

When I was writing this poem I wanted to jump through multiple pivotal experiences throughout my childhood just like one would do if they were actually overthinking. As someone who was raised in a very religious background I knew I also wanted to include metaphors to represent the type of religious thinking that is so ingrained in you, to the point that it becomes difficult to separate these rituals from your own experiences.

Why did you choose to write this poem?

I chose to write this poem because I know I’m not the only one who struggles with anxiety, and wanted to put my perspective on it in words.

Do you have any tips or anything to share with the youth writers who may be reading this? (optional)

When you're writing poetry make sure its about a topic that you're interested in or feel passionate about. When you already feel a certain way about a topic it becomes much easier to put those emotions into words rather than trying to form an opinion on the spot about a topic you don't care for.

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