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.